16 Mahajanapadas and Their Capitals

16 Mahajanapadas and Their Capitals

5th to 6th century BCE epoch is considered an important age in Indian History. This is popularly known as the transmigration of Indian history. In this time Indian culture and civilization witnessed eristic changes in various arenas. In political field those kingdoms which were established in the late Vedic period was highly developed. The Jain and Buddhist scriptures describe the emergence of 16 Mahajanapadas in this very time. Out of these mostly were aristocratic and some were republics. In this time the area of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh evolved mining of iron ore and the use of iron for marking tools and weapons started.

Shodasa Mahajanapadas: Names, Location, Capitals, Map
16 Mahajanapadas MAP

Panchal – This is one of the most powerful 16 Mahajanapadas. The present location of this area is on the banks of the Ganges, Kali and Ramganga rivers in Modern Uttar Pradesh state. The present districts of Manpuri, Farukhabad, Etah were the parts of Southern Panchal with it’s capital at Kamplya. The northern Panchal region comprised of the districts of Shahjahanpur, Barly, Parts of Moradabad, Badayun. It’s capital was Ahichchhatra which is near Ramnagar village in Aonla Tehsil. Northern and Southern Panchal regions were bifurcated by the river Ganges. The area was ruled by the king Drupad who was the father of Draupadi. Later Guru of Pandvas and Kauravas – Dronacharya become angry with king drupad and waged a war against him. In this battle Drupada had to loose and he had to part with Northern Panchal. He is kingdom was confirm to the Southern Panchal region only. Several historical sites fall into this area like Sankisa, Kampilya, Srivgi Rishi Ashram, Atarangi Khera. Latest finding is at Ganeshpur village in Manipuri. The archaeologists have found weaponry of sophisticated shapis of copper which dates back to more than 4000 years back. The archaeologists have found OCP culture. The civilization and findings are similar to Madarpur in Moradabad, Sanauli in Baghpat and Sakatpur of Saharnpur.

Avanti – Avanti region was modern state of Madhya Pradesh. It’s capital was Ujjain Avanti was divided into south and North by the river Vetravati.

Gandhara – It comprised of the area of Kashmir, Pakistan. It’s capital was Taxila.

Kambija – This was small republic located area of pooch in India, modern day Afghanistan and parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Assaka – its capital was Potali or Podaha which is modern Bodhan area of Telangana.

Vajji – its Capital was Vaishali modern Besarh in Bihar state.

Malla – The name Malla is delved after the Malla rulers. Both lord Mahaveer and Gautam Buddha chose this Malla region for their Mahaparinirvan. This republic had two capitals one was Kushnara(Modern Kushnagar) The other was Pava(Fazilnagar district).

Kasi – It capital was modern Varnasi. The area between Varuna and Assi rulers was the Kashi Kingdom. During the Buddha and pre Buddha epoch this area was very rich.

Vatsa – This was also known as Vansa. It’s capital was kosana which is close to Allahabad (or Kaushambi)

Sursana – its capital was at Mathura and the area composed of western U.P districts of Aggra, Mathura, Aligarh, and Firozabad.

Kosala – Kosala Mahajanpanda was divided in 2 pants Northern Kosala had it’s capital at Shravasti while southern Kosala at Kushawati.

Magadha – It’s capital was Rajagriha. It Bihar

Arga – It’s capital was Champa beforehand known as Malini. It was located on the confluence of Ganga and Shampa (Chardan) rivers. It separated Magadha emping by Champa river. It lord Buddha’s era it was annexed by Magadha. The region of Arga comprised of Buhar, west Bengal and Bangladesh.

Chedi – It’s capital was Sothivati  

Kuru – This hand it’s capital at Indraprastha and the area comprised of modern Hariyana districts of Hisar, Panipat, western U.P.

Matsya – The Capital of Matsya was at Viratnagar modern Jaipur. It has Kuru Mahajapadand on the North and Sursena on East. It comprised of modern ties districts of Alwar, Karauli Bharatpur and parts of Hariyana.


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