Bimbisara (546 – 494 B.C.)
Bimbisara was a King of Magadha and belonged to the Haryanka dynasty. He was the son of Bhattiya.
He consolidated his position by matrimonial alliances. His first matrimonial alliance was with the ruling family of Kosala.
He married Kosaladevi, sister of Prasenajit. He was given the Kasi region as dowry which yielded large revenue.
He married Chellana, a princess of the Licchavi family of Vaisali. This matrimonial alliance secured for him the safety of the northern frontier. It facilitated the expansion of Magadha northwards to the borders of Nepal.
He also married Khema of the royal house of Madra in central Punjab.
Bimbisara also undertook many expeditions and added more territories to his empire. He defeated Brahmadatta of Anga and annexed that kingdom.
He maintained friendly relations with Avanti. He had also efficiently reorganized the administration of his kingdom.
Interesting Facts about Bimbisara
- He was a contemporary of both Vardhamana Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.
- However, both religions claim him as their supporter and devotee. He seems to have made numerous gifts to the Buddhist Sangha.
- Bimbisara offered his Magadha kingdom to Gautama Buddha. But, buddha refused as his desire is not for worldly enjoyment.