Livelihoods

Where are our Mahajanapadas today?

Anybody with basic political awareness is fairly well acquainted with the location and administrative functioning of states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Most of you may also be residing in cities like Patna, Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain etc. But have you ever imagined that the above mentioned cities and states which you live in, were once occupied by mighty and prosperous kingdoms around 2,500 years ago i.e., around 5th- 6th century BC. The importance of these kingdoms in the Indian history lies in the fact that they were the first examples of state formation in India. Prior to these Mahajanapadas, India had tribal based political system. With the rise of these Mahajanapadas it was for the first time that India found a certain historicity. Is it not interesting to know our antecedents, our ancestors, and our ancient social, political, and economic traditions, which these kingdoms (or Mahajanapadas as they were known) cherished and preserved for us? No doubt, it is, and you must be keen to know about them. So come let us delve into our past and explore our roots. The term Janapada, used even today, means a district or a sub-division. However, about 3000 years ago, the Janapada denoted a small territorial unit inhabited by Jana or Vedic tribes. The rise of the Mahajanapadas (or large territorial unit)...

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