Nanda Dynasty (345 BC-322 BC)
The Nanda dynasty ruled Subcontinent from 345 to 322 BCE. Nanda dynasty founder was Mahapadma Nanda who was member of Magadha family. He was a strong ruler and during his era the Empire spread in parts of nothern India. He was son of barber who was a paramour (bf) of the previous queen, who disgracefully murdered the former king, and from that barber, Mahapadma Nanda was born. When Alexander came to the subcontinent and defeated the Porus, Raja Porus told him also about Mahapadma Nanda. Besides this Porus also urged Alexander to attack on Nanda dynasty.
But according to Jainism the mother of the Mahapadma (Nanda dynasty founder) was a Courtesan ( prostitute). Little same thing happen with Nanda dynasty at it’s end when one daughter of Nanda’s King married Chandragupta Maurya (first Maurya Empire king). Because, in Kshatriya’s custom, women could pick their partners. Later Chandragupta Maurya overthrew the last king of Nanda Empire “Dhana Nanda” and captured the kingdom.
The Buddhists, the Jain, believe that there were nine rulers of Nanda dynasty, although their names varied greatly from the source. Dhana Nanda was the final Nanda king. Nanda empire ruled over Parisa in the east. Bihar, Bengal, Punjab, and Sindh. The Nanda monarchs created a bureaucratic system in their dynasty to run the administration. Their victories paved the route to India’s unity.
Nanda Dynasty vs Alexander
When Alexander came to the subcontinent he remained on the western boundaries of the Nanda Empire with his 40,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalries, after the victory of the vast Persian Empires and numerous other nations, and fought with King Porus at the Battle of hydaspes.
The Nanda military was robust, with 200,000 infantry, 80,000 vehicles, and 6,000 war elephants, but on the other hand, Alexander’s army became exhausted from wars and homesickness. The Alexander military refused to move towards the east any further. So, seeing mutiny and his wound in the Battle of Hydaspes, Alexander went back to home but he couldn’t reach the home and died on that way. No fight happen between Nanda Dynasty vs Alexander.
Another reason Alexander didn’t attack the Nanda Empire was the war elephants. The elephants gave the edge to the Nanda dynasty in Macedonia. Because Alexander had confronted elephants before in the battle of Hydpasses, which destroyed Alexander’s army very severely. Moreover, in number, the Nanda had a more powerful army than the Alexander army.
There were nine kings, which are:
- Mahapadma Nanda,
- Dhana Nanda.
Last Ruler of Dhana Nanda
King Dhana Nanda (last ruler of Nanda Empire) inherited a vast kingdom with the cavalry, infantry, wagons, and elephant army in great numbers. When Alexander came to India, he imposed taxes on different animals‘ stones to increase their wealth.
Taxes made Dhana Nanda unpopular, and Chandragupta Maurya took this advantage and went on campaigning against him. According to some historians, Chanakya went to king Dhana Nanda, and Dhana insulted Chanakya. At that time, Chanakya swore to take revenge and pledged to overthrow his kingdom. Chandragupta Maurya was a student of Chanakya , so Chanakya encouraged him to take over the kingdom of Magadha. Chandragupta was also son in law of Nanda family.
Chandragupta used his intelligence network and brought together numerous young men from around Magadha and other provinces who were dissatisfied by King Dhana’s corrupt and repressive reign and collected the resources needed for the army. Chandragupta Maurya designed a strategy to enter the capital of the empire, ” Pataliputra.” After entering in capital he declared the war and a vast battlefield happened in the City which killed thousands of people. Chandragupta’s spies also paid money to Nanda’s general and produced the environment of civil war in the kingdom. After the bloody massacre Chandragupta Maurya overthrew the Dhana Nanda and captured the kingdom of Magadha.
For Mcqs of Nandas Click here