Write short notes on Bimbisara and Satavahanas.


Bimbisara, 558 BC-491 BC was a king of the Magadha empire from 543 BC to his death and belonged to the Hariyanka dynasty. There are many accounts of Bimbisara in the Buddhist Jatakas, since he was a contem-porary of Gautama Buddha. He acquired Anga and place it under the viceroyalty of his son Ajatashatru, with its capital at Champa. King Bimbisara met Buddha for the first time when Buddha wasn’t enlightened yet, and later became an important disciple of Buddha, according to the Buddhist scriptures. He is recorded to have attained sotapannahood, a degree of enlightenment in Buddhist teachings.

However, the Jain scriptures say he was a Jain. As per Jainism texts, he is referred to as Kign Shrenik of Rajgrih. Bimbisara used marriage alliances to strengthen his position. His first wife was Kosala-devi, the daughter of Maha Kosala the king of Kosala, and a sister of Prasenjit. His bride brought him Kashi, which was then a mere village, as dowry.

This marriage also ended the hostility between Magadha and Kosala and gave him a free hand in dealing with the other states. Bimbisara’s second wife, Chellana, was a Lichchavi princes from Vaishali. His third wife was a daughter of the chief of the Madra clan of Punjab. Tradition tells us that Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son Ajatashatru who is said to have starved him to death. This is reported to have take place around 491 BC.


The most important of the native successors of the Mauryas in the north were the Shungas followed by the Kanvas. In the Deccan and in central India the Satavahanas succeeded the Mauryas although after a gap of about 100 years. The Satvahanas are considered to be identical with the Andhras who are mentioned in the Puranas.

The Puranas speak only of the Andhra rule and not of the Satavahana rule. On the other had the name Andhra does not occur in Satavahana inscriptions. Pre-Satavahana settlements are attested by the finds of red Ware, black-and-red ware and russet-coated painted ware at many sites in the Deccan.

Most of these are associated with the iron-using megalith builders who were stimulated to new activity by contacts with the material culture from the north. The use of iron share, paddy transplantation and the coming of urbanism, writing, etc. created conditions for state formation under the Satavahanas. According to some Puranas, altogether the Andhras ruled for 300 years and this period is assigned to the rule of the Satavahana dynasty. The earliest inscriptions of the Satavahanas belong to the first century B.C., when they defeated the Kanvas and established their power in parts of central India.

Compare items
  • Total (0)