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Sunga Dynasty

Shunga Dynasty

Sunga Dynasty(185 BC- AD 50) was established by Pushyamitra Sunga in 185 BC after murdering the last Mauryan king Brithadratha. Pushyamitra Sunga was a brahmin from Ujjayini and was also the commander-in-chief of the empire. The capital of the Sungas was at Pataliputra.

While Buddhism was greatly encouraged by the Mauryas, the Shungas patronized Hinduism. This led to large scale persecution of Buddhists during the Shunga period.

During the reign of Pushyamitra Sunga the north-western regions comprising Rajputana, Malwa, Punjab, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, passed into the hands of the Greeks. This led to the confinement of the Sungas to the eastern part of India.

Pushyamitra was succeeded by son Agnimitra. Agnimitra is the hero of ‘Malavikagnimitra’, a famous drama by Kalidasa. After Agnimitra, the power of the Sungas gradually weakened. The last of the Sunga kings was Devabhuti.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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