The Kanva Dynasty or Kanvayana ruled from 75 BCE to 30 BCE.. It overthrew the Shunga Dynasty in parts of eastern and central India.

The Kanva Dynasty or Kanvayana ruled from 75 BCE to 30 BCE.. It overthrew the Shunga Dynasty in parts of eastern and central India.

The Puranic literature shows that the Kanva Dynasty ruled from Pataliputra, Magadha in Eastern India, the former capital of the Shunga Empire. Their coins are primarily found in and around the region of Vidisha in Central India, the capital of later Shunga rulers.

The Kanvas were Brahmins and considered themselves as descendants from Rishi Kanva.

Origin of Kanva Dynasty

Vasudeva Kanva was the founder of the Kanva Dynasty in 75 BC. He was initially a Brahman minister of the Shunga Empire Devabhuti, who then assassinated Devabhuti and usurped the throne.

When Kanva Dynasty established its rule in Magadha, Shunga princes were still ruling in Vidisha. 

Rulers

He was the first ruler and founder Vasudeva. This dynasty was named after his Gotra. 

Bhumimitra, his son, succeeded him. Coins showing the legend Bhumimitra have been discovered from the Panchala realm. 

The copper coins with the legend “Kanvasya” have been found from Vidisha and Kausambhi. He ruled for 14 years and was succeeded by his son, Narayana.

Narayana ruled for twelve years. He was succeeded by his son Susharman who was the last king of the Kanva dynasty.

  • Vasudeva (c. 75 – c. 66 BCE)
  • Bhumimitra (c. 66 – c. 52 BCE)
  • Narayana (c. 52 – c. 40 BCE)
  • Susarman (c. 40 – c. 30 BCE)

End of Kanva Dynasty

According to the Puranas, the last king of the Kanva dynasty was killed by Balipuccha, who founded the Andhra dynasty.

The defeat of the Kanva dynasty by the Satavahana dynasty was a localized event in Central India.

However, numismatic and epigraphic evidence suggests that Magadha itself came under the hegemony of the Mitra dynasty of Kaushambi from the 1st century BCE until the 2nd century CE.

>>>Read about Banabhatta

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