Magadha Kingdom

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This article is about the kingdom of Magadha in Indian epic literature. For the historical kingdom, see Magadha.

Magadha was a kingdom ruled by non-Vedic kings. Jarasandha was the greatest among them during epic times. His capital was Rajagriha or Rajgir a modern hill resort in Bihar. Jarasandha's continuous assault on the Yadava kingdom of Surasena resulted in their withdrawal from central India to western India. Jarasandha was a threat not only for Yadavas but also for Kurus. Pandava Bhima killed him in a mace duel aided by the intelligence of Vasudeva Krishna. Thus Yudhisthira, the Pandava king, could complete his campaign of bringing the whole of Indian kingdoms to his sway.

Jarasandha had friendly relations with Chedi king Shishupala, Kuru king Duryodhana and Anga king Karna. After the epic age, in Kali Yuga, Magadha became the foremost of Indian kingdoms with the new capital Pataliputra, a port city on the banks of the river Ganges. Nandas and Mauryas ruled this kingdom. The Mauryas built the celebrated Mauryan Empire that spanned almost whole of India. This empire was formidable even to the Greek warrior Alexander.

References in Mahabharata

Link of Magadha with Chedi Kingdom and the Puru clan

  • Mbh 1.63

The following passage tends to link the Magadha rulers with the Puru dynasty of kings (an ancient Indian royal dynasty in which the Kuru dynasty was a subset and the Pandavas and Kauravas were born.) It also makes Magadha a province under the Chedi Empire......
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