Before Chandragupta Maurya took over Magadh, the kings of the Nanda Dynasty ruled Patliaputra from 345 to 321 BCE.They extended their kingdom to regions in Punjab in the north to Bengal in the east and also regions in the Vindhya range of the south. The kings of the Nanda dynasty including Mahapadma Nanda and his son Dhana Nanda were known for accumulating wealth.
Here we share everything about the two kings and their history:
Mahapadma Nanda Was the Son Of A King and a Shudra Mother
Mahapadma Nanda was the one who could put an end to the Shishunaga dynasty by founding the Nanda Empire. He was the son of Shishunaga Dynasty’s last king Mahanandin from a Shudra wife/concubine.
In order to claim the throne he eliminated all his brothers from his other mothers and became a king, putting an end to the Shishunaga dynasty.
According to Jain and Roman Historian, He was the Son of a Barber
The Jain texts illustrate that Mahapadma Nanda was the son of a courtesan from a barber. This is further agreed by Roman historian Curtis who claims that Mahapadma’s father was originally a barber who somehow gained the queen’s affection.
Next, with her influence, he could get close to the king. He then murdered the king and later under the pretext of the guardian of the royal children, he took over the authority, killed the children and produced his own. Thus the legitimate sons to the throne were killed and the son of the conqueror (Mahapadma) became the king.
In the serial Chandra Nandni, the above story of Mahanandin is applied on his son Mahapadma essayed by Arpit Ranka. The entire story of him murdering the king Shishunaga is shown through advancement to the king through his queen.
According to Jain texts and historians it did happen but it was not Mahapadma who did this but his father Mahanandin.
Mahapadma Nanda Is Also Known as the Destroyer of Kshatriyas
Since he was from low origin, he went on to destroy all the Kshatriyas and their kingdoms. According to the Puranas he defeated several kingdoms including the Kurus, Panchalas, Maithilas and the Surasenas. He even expanded his kingdom into the Deccan by capturing a region in the Vindhya Range.
He Created the First Great Empire of the Northern India
Based on the theories, principles and strategies of the Shishunaga and Haryanka dynasty, Mahapadma Nanda laid the foundation of the Nanda dynasty. In order to create the first great empire of the north India, he built a very vast army which had 2 Lakh infantry, 20,000 cavalry, 3,000 war elephants and 2,000 war chariots.
Source and Reference:
Age of the Nandas and Mauryas by Nilakanta Sastri
Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of the Gupta Dynasty by H.C. Raychaudhuri and B.N. Mukherjee