During the sixth century BC. there were many Kingdoms and Republics in North India. Sixteen such states were prominent. They were called as the Mahajanapadhas. The important among them were Anga, Kasi, Kosala, Avanti, Vatsa and Magadha. They were constantly quarrelling with each other. Out of these States Magadha had emerged the most powerful as an Imperial power. Its rulers Bimbisara and Ajatasatru were responsible for making it a powerful state.

Magadha under Bimbisara (B.C. 525 - 500 B.C.) The Haryanka dynasty ruled Maqadha. Girivraja (Old Rajagriha) near Gaya was the capital of Magadha. Bimbisara made Magadha a powerful state. He married the Kosala princess Kosaladevi and got Kasi as dowry. He also married the princesses of Vaisali, Videha and Mathura. He fought against Brahmadatta of Anga. He annexed Anga. He made friendship with rulers of Malwa and Gandhara. By marriage, conquest and friendship, Bimbisara made Magadha the most powerful imperial power. He was Jain and promoted Jainism During his rule Darius I , the Achaemenian emperor, conquered the Indus Valley area.

Ajatasatro (B.C. 500 – 475) Ajatasatru imprisoned his father Bimbisara He fought against Kosala, Malla and Vaisali. Magadha reached to glory under him. The first Buddhist Council was convened by Ajatasatru at Rajagriha. H successors were weak The Sisunaga dynasty came to power in Magadha Sisunaga was the founder of this dynasty. After them the Nandas captured power in Magadha.

The Nandas (B.C. 425 - 325 B.C.) Mahapadmananda was the founder of Nanda rule Magadha. He conquered Panchala, Kasi, Asumaga, Kuru, Mithila and Surasena kingdoms He brought the whole of North India under Magahdan rule. He invaded Kalinga in he South. After him, his successors were not powerful Dhana Nandha was the last ruler of this dynasty. Alexander invaded India during his rule.

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