Ajatashatru (c. 493/492 BCE - c. 462/460 BCE) was the second important king of the Haryanka Dynasty, who came to the throne of Magadha by deposing and executing his own father Bimbisara. The Haryanka Dynasty (c. 545/544 BCE - c. 413 BCE) came into prominence during the rule of Bimbisara (r. 545/544 BCE - 493/492 BCE), who extended the kingdom through conquests and marriage alliances. It was the first important Magadhan Dynasty whose historicity can be ascertained with verifiable facts. Before them, a mythical dynasty by the name of Brihadratha is often talked about but does not have any archaeological or contemporary literary evidence to back up its claim. The Magadha Kingdom started its expansion from the time of Bimbisara, but Ajatashatru annexed several important and powerful kingdoms in its vicinity – Kosala and Kashi, and then Vrijji and his empire roughly covered the present-day Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh (some minor parts), West Bengal (some major parts), Odisha (some parts) and also some parts of the neighbour countries of Bangladesh and Nepal.

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