Mahapadma Nanda was the first ruler of Nanda Dynasty. He founded the dynasty in the year 424 BC and ruled for almost 62 years till 362 BC. He established one of the largest Ancient Indian Empire which extended from Punjab in the west to Bengal in the east and Vindhya Mountain in the south almost all the regions of present day North India were under his rule.
He was the son of Mahanandin, the Kshtriya ruler who succeded Shishunaga as the emperor of Magadha. His mother was Shudra so many objections were raised when he was crowned for the thrown, but he muted all the opposition. He killed most of the Kshtriyas who were nominated as the king for Magadha.
Mahapadma War with Kalinga
He is known for conquering Kalinga to extend his empire. Kalinga rulers accepted teir defeat and worked under him. Kalinga used to face extensive drougt so Mahapadma Nanda established a canal system in the region. Evidence regarding his presence in Kalinga are collected from Kalahandhi and Balangir district of Orrisa were many of the Nanda coins and pottery related with the kingdom are found.
Mention in Purana and Vedic Books
As Mahapadma Nanda was son of shudra mother many of the vedic text like purana criticized him and his rise of power is mentioned as the starting of kali-yug. It was written that he used to levy taxes on smaller kingdoms and those who failed to give the taxes were attacked to establish an ekachattra raj under the Chakravartin king Mahapadma Nanda.
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