As the Vedic civilisation ended, there were many actual cities and large states. After the 6th Century BC, many powerful kingdoms emerged in North and East India. Altogether there were 16 new powerful kingdoms.
Life after the Vedic civilisation witnessed the rise of cities and states. In this period, there was a massive growth in agriculture, and an increase in the use of tools and other equipment. This period was also the beginning of urbanisation.
Janapadas was a unit in the initial period of governance. In 2500 B.C, Janapadas led their growth in agriculture, cleared forests, increased their power, and consequently created big kingdoms.These powerful Janapadas were called Mahajanapadas.
The Mahajanapadas were in total 16 in number- Vajji, Kashi,Kasala, Malla, Kuru, Panchala, Vasta, Avanti, Kamboja, Gandhara, Asmaka, Matsya, Surasena, Magadh, Kasala and Avanti. The Mahajanapadas had one capital. The kings had their army and ruled and constructed fortresses to provide security.
The Nanda dynasty was established by Mahapadma Nanda, who ruled from BC 364 to BC 365. Mahapadma Nanda was the first Emperor of the Nanda Empire of ancient India.
Mahapadma Nanda’s army was big and powerful, and he made Kalinga a part of his empire. During the Nanda dynasty, society was based on the Varna system, and caste practice was also prevalent.
The last ruler of the Nanda dynasty was Ghanananda. He was a cruel, oppressive and belligerent king. The people of his kingdom were unhappy. He was later killed by Chandragupta Maurya. After the end of the Nanda dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya started the Maurya dynasty in Magadha.
Chandragupta Maurya established the Maurya dynasty after he killed the last ruler of the Nanda dynasty. This was the beginning of the Maurya dynasty, which was successful only because of the mentor and Minister Chanakya.
Later, Chanakya became the Prime Minister and was considered the great political master of the Maurya dynasty. Chandragupta Maurya conquered a large part of India with his vast and powerful army, and later his son Binusar spread his empire in South India.
Emperor Ashoka was the most famous king of the Maurya dynasty. During his period, the Mauryan Empire spread over the largest area. He invaded Kalinga and was included in his Mauryan Empire.
He worked for the people’s welfare and gave up the war policy. Later, he spread the message of peace and propagated Buddhism. He was called ‘Ashoka the Great.’
Brihadirath was the last king of the Maurya dynasty. His army commander killed him, and this ended the Maurya dynasty.
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