Kanva Dynasty – Successors of Sunga Dynasty – 73 BC – 26 BC

In 73 BC, Vasudeva Kanva, a minister in the court of Sunga Empire tricked Devabhuti Sunga with the help of a slave’s daughter, killed the king, and became the king of Magadha. He was the founder of Kanva Dynasty.

Extents Of Kanva Dynasty

The later rulers of Sunga Dynasty had a lot of civil and personal troubles. The Satavahans in the South acquired a lot of power and declared their independence under the rule of Simuka in 230 BC. Yavanas were strong again and occupied Punjab. Saka also became quite powerful. When Devabhuti was overthrown by Vasudeva Kanva, princes of Sunga Dynasty ruling in Vidisha retaliated against Magadha although couldn’t get much success. As a result, Sunga Dynasty was still able to rule in Vidisha but Magadha surpassed to Kanvas.

The Map of Kanva Dynasty

The Map of Kanva Dynasty

Major Ruler

Vasudeva ruled for around a decade till 63 BC. His reign was full of foreign attacks from Indo-Greeks. He somehow managed to save his throne of Magadha and during his reign Kanva Dynasty was confined to Magadha. Vasudeva was a Brahmin, most of the taxes were donated to the temples. He was a follower of lord Vishnu.

Vasudeva was succeeded by Bhumimitra, who ruled for 14 years. Bhumimitra had to fight a numerous wars against Satavahanas, the civil society of India was under a huge pressure and very little welfare of the common man was thought of. It is considered that the poverty in India, and a minor drought took place during the 14 years of Bhumimitra.

Narayana, who succeeded Bhumimitra, was able to stabilize the kingdom a bit. He ruled for 12 years. During the same time the Satavahanas were facing their own share of problems in their kingdom and so were not able to create disturbances in Kanva Dynasty. Narayana was succeeded by his son, Susarman.

The Decline

In year 40 BC, the last ruler of Kanva Dynasty, Susarman, succeeded the throne. His rule was peaceful for around 14 years. It is said that in the year 26 BC Satavahana Kingdom was finally able to annex Kanvas (Magadha) into their territory. Susarman was put to death.

The other theories of end of Kanva Dynasty portrays Simuka (the king of Satavahanas) as a servant of Susarman, who gave poison to his master. It is said that Simuka poisoned Susarman to death and founded Andhra Bhritya Dynasty.

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