After killing Brihadratha, the last emperor of the Maurya dynasty, his general Pushyamitra Sunga overthrew the Maurya Empire and established his rule, and laid the foundation of the Sunga dynasty. After the decline of the Maurya dynasty, many Brahmin dynasty rulers took the reins of power, among which the Sunga dynasty, Kanva dynasty, Kushan dynasty, and Satavahana dynasty were the main ones.
The first king of this dynasty to lay the foundation of the Sunga dynasty was Pushyamitra Sunga. Pushyamitra is considered a supporter of Brahmanism and an enemy of Buddhism. During his reign, he did many anti-Buddhist activities and destroyed Buddhist stupas and viharas. According to the Buddhist text Divyadan, Pushyamitra Shunga had declared that “ Whoever brings me the head of a monk, will give him 100 dinars. The
Shunga is considered to be a follower of the Vedic religion.
The tenure of Pushyamitra Shunga is considered to be from 185 – 149 BCE. The political activities of the Shunga period are known as ' Malvikagnimitram ' composed by Kalidasa. It is known from the records obtained from Ayodhya that Pushyamitra Shunga had also performed Ashwamedha Yagya during his reign.
Pushyamitra Sunga defeated the Yavana ruler Demetrius I. Demetrius was the first Yavana ruler to enter the Indian border.
Devbhuti was the 10th and last ruler of the Shunga dynasty. Who was murdered by his Amatya Vasudeva and took control of the Shunga throne.
Amatya Vasudeva Kanva killed his ruler Devabhuti and captured the throne and founded the Kanva dynasty. Vasudeva is considered to be the originator of the Kanva dynasty of Pataliputra.
The last ruler of the Kanva dynasty was Emperor Sushmi Kanva or Simuk Kanva, who was very weak and unfit for office. Due to this many states declared themselves independent and the Kanva dynasty declined. The reign of this dynasty is believed to be from 75 BC to 30 BC.
After this Magadha was ruled by the Kushan dynasty. Kujul Kadphises is considered to be the founder of the Kushan dynasty and was the great-grandfather of the great Kushan emperor Kanishka. The famous emperor of the Kushan dynasty is considered to be Kanishka, whose first capital was Purushapur and the second capital was made Mathura. Kanishka is also known as the second Ashoka. The Kushanas also issued coins of pure gold. The Kushanas are also credited with the introduction of gold coins for the first time in India. The Kushan dynasty was a dynasty whose boundaries extended outside India.
The Gandhara style of art also flourished during the reign of Kanishka. Kanishk is also credited with starting the Shaka Samvat. Kanishka also started the circulation of Buddha inscribed coins. It is also believed that idol worship started in the Kushan period itself.
The Satavahana dynasty emerged after the decline of the Kushan dynasty.
The foundation of the Andhradeshi Satavahana dynasty or the Shatkarni dynasty was laid by Simuk in 27 BC. Also known as Sindhuk, Shishuk, or Siprak. They are said to be of the Andhra caste. After the Kanva dynasty, the Satavahana dynasty also ruled Magadha. Gautamiputra Shatakarni is considered to be the great ruler of the Satavahana dynasty. Gautamiputra Satakarni has been called a unique brahmin. Shatkarni had made a city named Pratishthan as his capital. After the fall of the Maurya Empire, the Satavahana Empire was the most powerful in South India.
Hala, the seventeenth ruler of the Satavahana dynasty, composed ' Gatha Saptashati' salt song poetry. The Satavahanas also issued lead coins. The last ruler of the Satavahana dynasty was Yagya Sri Shatakarni, who was the first ruler to receive the title Shatakarni.
After all this, the Gupta dynasty emerged, which again tied India into one thread. After the Maurya dynasty, there was a lack of political unity in India for many years. The credit for the restoration of political unity in India goes to the Gupta dynasty.
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