known about them. However, the decaying
This kingdom, by and large, corresponded to modem Oudh and its capital
was Ayodhya. Its other prominent towns were Saketa and Sravasti. King
Prasenjit of Kosala was Buddha’s contemporary. He was highly educated and
received education in Taxila. Prasenjit further elevated his status and position
by a matrimonial alliance with Magadha. In fact, his sister was married to
Bimbisara the king of Magadha, and Kasi was given to her as dowry.
However, a dispute with Ajatasatru, son of Bimbisara through another wife,
soon led to discord. Ajatasatru put his father to death whose wife, sister of
Prasenjit, died due to grief. Prasenjit, in retaliation, confiscated Kasi. A war
broke out with varying results in favour of both sides. However, the conflict
finally ended and a reconciliation took place. Prasenjit’s daughter Vajjira was
married to Ajatasatru and Kasi was again given as gift to the bride. Though
Prasenjit did not embrace Buddhism, he was a great admirer of the Buddha
and his gospels. One of the Bharhut sculptures highlights cordiality between
Prasenjit and the Buddha. After Prasenjit, his son Vidudabha succeeded him.
Kosala finally became a part of the Magadhan kingdom.
Of all the political powers, Magadha was the most powerful and prosperous
kingdom in north India from the sixth century BC to the forth century BC. The
founders of the kingdom were Jarasandha and Brihadratha. However, its real
founders were Bimbisara and Ajatasatru. Rajagriha was the capital of the
kingdom. During their reign, richness and prosperity of the kingdom reached
its zenith.
Haryankas Bimbisara (547–495 BC) consolidated his power and influence
by matrimonial alliances. His principal queen was Kosaladevi, the sister of
Prasenjit of Kosala. The second queen was Chellana, the daughter of the
famous Lichchhavi chief, Chetaka of Vaisali. Khema, daughter of Madra of
the Punjab, was his third queen. His Kosalan wife brought Kasi as a dowry-
gift. However, he undertook several military expeditions and added fresh
territories to his empire. He defeated Brahmadatta, the ruler of Anga, and
annexed the latter’s kingdom. He maintained a friendly relationship with
Pradyota of Avanti. He sent his