Friday, August 16, 2013

Bimbisara: First Great Emperor of India

The most remarkable king of the Haryanka dynasty of the great Magadhan kingdom in the 6th century BC was Bimbisara also known as Srenika. He ascended the throne in c 545 B.C. He was the first Indian ruler who conceived the idea of an extensive empire. 
He embarked on a policy of imperialism by conquering the little kingdom Anga which had its capital at Champa near modern Bhagalpur in Bihar. The port city of Champa was of substantial commercial significance.
Though Anga was the only conquest of Bimbisara, he strengthened his poison by matrimonial alliances with other kingdoms. His marriage with Kosala Devi, a sister of Prasenjit of Kosala, brought him the part of Kasi (Varanasi).  He was also married to Chellana, the daughter of Chetaka, the Licchavis king of Vaishali. His capital was Raagriha, the modern Rajgir in the Nalanda district of Bihar.
An energetic ruler, Bimbisara did not tolerate inefficient officials who were summarily dismissed. He is credited with building roads and causeways for the benefits of his subjects.
Bimbisara was in diplomatic contact with Puskarasarin, the ruler of Gandhara, whose kingdom also included Taxila.
Bimbisara was deposed, imprisoned and murdered by his son Ajatashatru in about 494 B.C. 

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