(Last Updated on : 02/02/2009)
, a Brahmin of Kanva Gotra had established the Kanva dynasty in Magadha. The later Shunga kings because of their incompetence and over attachment towards luxury and comfort could not maintain the Shunga Empire properly. Moreover in the final days of the Shungas there was a prolonged internal dissension. In this circumstance of complete disorder, the last king of the Shunga
dynasty Devabhuti was killed by his minister, Vasudeva, who initiated the Kanva dynasty in Magadha in 75 B.C. Since Vasudeva belonged to the Brahman caste, the Kanva
dynasty was a Brahman empire. The Kanva dynasty continued to be the sovereign authority of the Magadhan throne for 45 years and witnessed the rule of four Brahman rulers. Banabhatta`s `Harshacharit` suggests that Vasudeva came to power after the death of Devabhuti with the help of trickery and was assisted by the daughter of a slave woman, disguised as his queen.
Vasudeva ruled over the kingdom for a period of nine years and his authority was confined to the Magadhan throne only. At that time the Greeks had occupied Punjab and the territory to the west of Magadha was under the local chiefs and Vidisha was under the Shunga princes. Vasudeva was succeeded by his son Bhumimitra who ruled for 14 years. Very little is known about Bhumimitra`s reign. Bhumimitra was succeeded by his son Narayana, who ruled for 12 years and Susharman, the son of Narayana inherited the throne after his father. Susharman ruled for 10 years and later the Andhras overthrew him from power. The Andhras had captured Magadha
in the tenth year of Susharman`s reign. Susharman was the final ruler of the Kanva kinship.