(Last Updated on : 16-10-2019)
According to the Puranas
, Mahapadma Nanda was the first emperor of the Nanda Empire
and ruled Pataliputra
from 345 to 321 BCE. The Matsya
and Vayu Puranas
detailed the length of his reign varying between 28 to 88 years respectively. They further stated that his eight sons ruled in succession after him. But as per the Buddhist texts
contradicts the Puranas and states that the first Nanda ruler was Ugrasena.
Life of Mahapadma Nanda
Born to the last Shaishunaga
king Mahanandin and a Shudra woman, Mahapadma Nanda was also known as Mahapadmapati, which literally meant the lord of immense wealth. Some of his other names were ekarat or the sole sovereign and sarva kshatrantaka or the destroyer of the Kshatriyas
. Other than being the first Nanda ruler, Mahapadma Nanda was also the first Shudra king of Magadha
and was credited with extensive conquests.
The Jain texts
illustrate that Mahapadma Nanda was the son of a courtesan from a barber. This theory was further agreed by Roman historian Curtis who claims that Mahapadmas father was originally a barber who somehow gained the queens affection and assassinated the king. Eventually under the pretext of acting as a guardian for the then princes, he gained authority and killed the kings children. He produced his own and thus Mahapadma Nanda became the next Nanda king who was the contemporary of Porus and Alexander.
Following the extensive regime and demise of Mahapadma Nanda, the kingdom was assumed by Pandhuka.
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