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In the 8th century BC, India could be broadly understood in terms of five large regions viz. Madhyadesa (the middle country), Pratichya (western lands), Prachya. By the 6th century B.C. there were approximately 22 different Janapadas. The key points related to the Janapadas and the Mahajanapadas are. PDF | On Jan 1, , Karam Tej Sarao and others published Janapadas, Mahājanapadas, Kingdoms, and Republics.

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Once again, Altekar argued that these conclusions are based on misinterpretations of the literary evidence. Chalukya Dynastyc. According to the Buddhist text Sumangavilasini, [52] the people of Kururashtra the Kurus came from the Uttarakuru. The janas were originally semi-nomadic pastoral communities, but gradually came to be associated with specific territories as they became mahajanapxdas mobile. Brahmarshi-desha’the county of the holy sages,’ includes an territories of the KurusMatsyasPanchalas and Shurasenas i.

These republican states were known as Gana.

Ancient Madrasian Culture Soanianc. During Buddha’s time its boundaries included Anga. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Janapadas and Mahajanapadas

The western Matsya was the hill tract on the north bank of the Chambal. There was, however, a struggle for supremacy between king Pasenadi Prasenajit and king Ajatashatru of Mahajannapadas which was finally settled once the confederation of Lichchavis became aligned with Magadha. Janaladas Buddhist texts like the Anguttara Nikaya [1] make frequent reference to sixteen great kingdoms and republics which had evolved and flourished in a belt stretching from Gandhara in the northwest to Anga in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent and included parts of the trans- Vindhyan region, [2] prior to the rise of Buddhism in India.


Maurya Dynastyc. Aitareya Brahmana locates the Kurus in Madhyadesha and also refers to the Uttarakurus as living beyond the Himalayas. According to the Jatakasthe capital of the Kurus was Indraprastha Indapatta near modern Delhi which extended seven leagues.

Early medieval Chalukya Dynastyc. Retrieved 29 October The Vajji state is indicated to have been a republic.

Janapada – Wikipedia

These latter Kambojas are associated with the Daradas and Gandharas in Indian literature and also find mention in the Edicts of Ashoka. The evidence in the Mahabharata and in Ptolemy ‘s Geography distinctly supports two Kamboja settlements. The Kambojas were also a well known republican people since Epic times.

Gandhara Mahajanapada of Buddhist traditions included territories of east Afghanistanand north-west of the Panjab modern districts of Peshawar Purushapura and Rawalpindi. The country was divided into Uttara-Panchala and Dakshina-Panchala. Kalika at the end of Kaliyuga. The head of a kingdom was called a rajan or king. China was mentioned as a kingdom known as Cina, often grouped with Mleccha kingdoms.

The kingdom was located in the region around its capital Varanasibounded by the Varuna and Asi rivers in the north and south which gave Varanasi its name.


Originally janapadass monarchical clanthe Panchals appear to have switched to republican corporation in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. One king might conduct a military campaign often designated as Digvijaya meaning victory over all the directions and defeat another king in a battle, lasting for a day.

Some historians have also theorized that there was a common assembly called mahajanzpadas “Paura-Janapada”, but others such as Ram Sharan Sharma disagree with this theory. These stories tell of the long struggle for supremacy between Kashi and the three kingdoms of KosalaAnga and Magadha.

The famous city of Kanyakubja or Kanauj was situated in the kingdom of Panchala. The Great Rebellionc. A primary meaning of “place of the people”, janasya padamwould not explain why the compound is of masculine gender. Ancient Madrasian Culture Soanianc.

Janapadas and Mahajanapadas

The defeated king, in most cases, would be free to rule his own kingdom, without maintaining any contact with the victorious king. Mathura, the capital of Surasena, was also known at the time of Megasthenes as the centre of Krishna worship. Political History of Pre-Buddhist India.

The king also enforced law and order in his kingdom by punishing the guilty.