Ancient Kingdoms and Empires in Odisha

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Ancient Kingdoms and Empires in Odisha

In ancient times, Odisha was known as Kalinga. Kalinga was an early state in Middle East India comprising almost the whole of Odisha and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Field view was
The bloody Kalinga war fought by Ashoka of the Maurya Empire.

According to Buddhist literature Mahagovind Sutta and Jataka, Kalinga was an independent country and its capital was named Dantapur. The Uttarayan Sutra and Sutra Kritang of Jain literature also describe that the palaces of the Kalinga emperors and wealthy merchants were made of ivory, so the city was called Dantapur.


● Kalinga was under the rule of Magadha during the Nanda rulers. Mahapadmananda of the Nanda dynasty ascended the throne of Magadha in 362 BCE and annexed Kalinga to his vast empire around 350 BCE.
● Pre-Mauryan black-polished potter and punch-marked coins containing a large number of four signs from Asurgarh in Kalahandi and Sonpur districts indicate the climax of the economic situation of the time of Nanda rule.
● The Hatigumpha inscription discovered at Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar mentions irrigation projects undertaken by the Nanda kings.

The Maurya

● Chandragupta Maurya defeated the last Nanda ruler, Dhanananda, and Magadha in 322 BC. Established the Maurya Empire.
● The history of Kalinga after Mauryan rule is uncertain and it is not really known when this Mahajanapada gained his independence.
Kalinga war and Maurya empire
● The Kalinga War was fought between the Maurya Empire and the Kalinga Kingdom in 261 BC. It is considered to be the major event in the history of Odisha.
● The battle of Kalinga was described by Emperor Ashoka himself in his thirteenth rock edict.
● Kalinga was a small but economically prosperous state due to its small trade. Emperor Ashoka, the ruler of Magadha of the Maurya dynasty, attacked Kalinga in 261 BCE to gain power over foreign trade.
● The war resulted in mass murders, injuries and large scale epidemics. This type of destruction, replaced Ashoka and he embraced Buddhism with the help of Upagupta (Buddha’s disciple). Thus, the war of Kalinga is also famous in the history of India.

Administration of Kalinga

● After the war, Kalinga was removed from the Magadha Empire and Tosali was made the capital of Kalinga. Two different Kalinga temples of Ashoka are found in Dhauli and Jaugarh which describe the Mauryan administration in Kalinga.
● According to Rock Addict, met with Dhauli, Ashoka appointed a body of ministers to assist and advise the Kumara Viceroy of Kalinga and to examine and balance his administrative powers.
● Ashok appointed a well-organized bureaucracy for administration. Anthamahmatra was a minister of the border provinces and Dharma Mahamatra worked for the spiritual and moral upliftment of the people. Rajuka was in charge of the welfare of the districts.


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