The Hindu mythology affirms that Shishunaga was the founder of the Shishunaga dynasty of the Magadha Empire. He reigned from 413 to 395 B.C. Shishunaga in his early days was an amatya or official of the Magadha empire under the Haryanka dynasty. He was placed on the throne by the people who revolted against the Haryanka dynasty rule. In the Puranas it is mentioned that Shishunaga placed his son at Varanasi and himself ruled from Rajagriha. He was succeeded by his son Kakavarna Kalashoka.
In the text Mahavamsatika it is mentioned that Shishunaga was the son of a Licchavi raja of Vaishali. His mother was a `nagara-shobhini` and brought up an officer of state. At the time of revolt, he was a viceroy at Varanasi of king Naga-Dasaka, the last ruler of the Haryanka dynasty.
At first Shishunaga`s capital was Rajagriha and then Vaishali was his second royal residence. The most important success of Shishunaga was the destruction of the `glory` of the Pradyota dynasty of the Avanti kingdom.
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