World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Shishunaga dynasty

Shishunaga Empire

413 BCE–345 BCE
Capital Rajgir, Vaishali, later Pataliputra
Languages Sanskrit
Religion Jainism[1]
Government Monarchy
 •  413–395 BCE Shishunaga
 •  367–345 BCE Mahanandin
 •  Established 413 BCE
 •  Disestablished 345 BCE

The Shishunaga dynasty is believed to have been the third ruling dynasty of Magadha, a kingdom of ancient India.

According to the Puranas, this dynasty was the second ruling dynasty of Magadha, succeeding the legendary dynasty founded by Brihadratha.[2]

Shishunaga, the founder of the dynasty, was initially an amatya or "minister" of the last Haryanka dynasty ruler Nāgadāsaka and ascended to the throne after a popular rebellion in c. 413 BCE.[3] The capital of this dynasty initially was Rajgir but later shifted to Pataliputra, near the present day Patna during the reign of Kakavarna. According to tradition, Kakavarna was succeeded by his ten sons.[4] This dynasty was succeeded by the Nanda Empire in c. 345 BCE.[5]


  • Shishunaga 1
  • Kakavarna Kalashoka 2
  • Later rulers 3
  • Shishunaga dynasty rulers 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6


Shishunaga founded his Shishunaga or Shaishunaga empire in 413 BCE with its capital in Rajgir and later Pataliputra (both in what is now Bihar). Buddhist sources indicate that he had a secondary capital at Vaishali,[6] formerly the capital of Vajji, until it was conquered by Magadha. The Shishunaga dynasty ruled of one of the largest empires in the Indian subcontinent.

Kakavarna Kalashoka

According to the Puranas, Shishunaga was succeeded by his son Kakavarna and according to the Sinhala chronicles by his son Kalashoka. On the basis of the evidence of the Ashokavadana, Hermann Jacobi, Wilhelm Geiger and Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar concluded that both are same. During Shishunaga's reign, he was the governor of Varanasi. Two most significant events of his reign are the Second Buddhist council at Vaishaliin 383BC and the final transfer of capital to Pataliputra.[7] According to the Harshacharita, he was killed by a dagger thrust in to his throat in the vicinity of his capital.[8]

Later rulers

According to tradition, ten sons of Kalashoka ruled simultaneously. The Mahabodhivamsa states their names as Bhadrasena, Korandavarna, Mangura, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana and Panchamaka. Only one of them mentioned in the Puranic lists, Nandivardhana.[4] Nandivardhana or Mahanandin was probably the last ruler of this dynasty, his empire was inherited by his illegitimate son Mahapadma Nanda.

Shishunaga dynasty rulers


  1. ^ Books 2011.
  2. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 103
  3. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, pp. 193,201
  4. ^ a b Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 196
  5. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, p. 201
  6. ^
  7. ^ Raychaudhuri 1972, pp. 195–6
  8. ^ Mahajan 1960, reprint 2007, p. 251


  • Books, Hephaestus (2011). Specifications of Articles On Ruling Jain Clans, including: Magadha, Nanda Dynasty, Shishunaga Dynasty, Solanki, Rashtrakuta Dynasty, Western Ganga Dynasty, Andhra Iksh. Hephaestus Books.  
  • Mahajan, V.D. (2007) [1960], Ancient India, New Delhi: S. Chand,  
  • Raychaudhuri, H.C. (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: Calcutta: University of Calcutta 
Preceded by
Haryanka dynasty (Magadha)

Pradyota dynasty (Avanti)

Shishunaga Dynasty
413–345 BCE
Succeeded by
Nanda Dynasty
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.