Mahapadma Nanda

Mahapadma Nanda (450–362 BCE) was the first king of the Nanda dynasty. He was the son of Mahanandin, a Kshatriya father, with a Kshatriya wife from the Shishunaga dynasty. Sons of Mahanandin from his other wives opposed the rise of Mahapadma Nanda, on which he eliminated all of them to claim the throne. The Nandas, under Mahapadma Nanda, established the first great North Indian empire with its political centre in Magadha, which would in the following years lead to the largest empire in ancient India, to be built by the Mauryas. Mahapadma Nanda vanquished the old dynasties of North, not as was customary, to extract tribute from them and to be recognized as the most powerful, the samrat or the chakravartin, but rather in order to dethrone them and declare himself as an "ekachhatra", the only emperor in the entire land. The collapse of the old Kshatriya dynasties under the rigorous power politics of Mahapadma Nanda, who is explicitly denigrated as the son of a Shudra, and the support extended to followers of non-Vedic philosophies, all has been described as negative signs in the Puranas, which prophecized Mahapadma Nanda's rise as a mark of Kali Yuga. He died at 88 years old. His sons did not prove capable of retaining power, and were soon overthrown by Chandragupta Maurya. The Indologist F. E. Pargiter dated Nanda's coronation to 382 BCE, and R. K. Mookerji dated it to 364 BCE. His kingdom annexed parts of Kalinga, central India, Anga, and the upper Ganges Valley. He was the first Shudra king of Magadha.