Haryanka Dynasty – The second dynasty of Magadha Empire 543 BC – 413 BC

Haryanka Dynasty was the second dynasty of ancient Magadha. It is not very clear about which was the first dynasty but most of the purans and texts indicate that the first dynasty was Brihadrathas Dynasty. This dynasty ruled for more than 270 years and was eventually overtaken by Shishunaga Dynasty.

Two of the most prominent rulers of Haryanka Dynasty are Bimbisara and his son Ajatshatru. King Bhati (Bhatiya) was supposed to be the founder of Haryanka Dynasty, though some consider him the part of Brihadrathas Dynasty. King Bhati was succeed by Maharaja Bimbisara. Bimbisara ruled for more than 50 years from 543 BC till the year 491 BC. Bimbisara got married to the sister of King Prasenjit, the ruler of the neighboring state of Kosala and thus Kosala became a part of Magadha. Bimbisara was a follower of Buddha and had met Buddha in the public meetings.

Haryanka Dynasty - Engravings of Bimbisara ' s Army

Haryanka Dynasty – Engravings of Bimbisara ‘ s Army

Ajatshatru, an aggressive young ruler, became the king of Haryanka Dynasty after imprisoning and murdering his own father Bimbisara in the year 491 BC. Ajatshatru’s aggression made him a really hated king amongst the neighboring mahajanpads, Prasenjit, king of Kosala, withdrew their good terms with Magadha during the rule of Ajatshatru. The kingdom of Licchavi was annexed into Magadha after 15 years of war. Ajatshatru ruled for 32 years till 459 BC.

Udayibhadra, the son of Ajatshatru, ruled the kingdom for 32 years. During his time the capital was shifted from Rajagriha to Patliputra.

“The irony of a royal life is that you can never trust your offspring.”

The fate of Haryanka dynasty was like that. Maharaja Udayibhadra was assassinated by his son Anuruddha, who was again assassinated by his son Munda, and after four years in 435 BC Maharaja Munda was murdered by his son Maharaja Nagadasaka, who was the last ruler of Haryanka Dynasty he ruled for 22 years till 413 BC before he was overthrown by a civil rebellion.

The end of Haryanka Dynasty led to the rise of Shishunaga Dynasty which was led by king Sisunaka. Shishunaga dynasty was one of the largest dynasties of its time.

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