The Sixteen Mahajanapadas Described Ancient India :
India was not united in the sixth century BC. Originally it is known from the Buddhist and Jain scriptures that at that time, in northern India, there were 16 kingdoms or Mahajanapada. From the beginning of the sixth century BC to the rise of Magadha, the time was called the Sixteen Mahajanapadas. The names of these sixteen kingdoms are mentioned in Buddhist 'Anguttaranikaya' and Jain 'BhagavatiSutra'. In the sixth century BC, these kingdoms were developed mainly on the basis of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. These states, namely -
(1) Anga :
The present state of Bihar consists of Munger and Bhagalpur districts. Champa City was the capital of this state. Bimbisa has occupied this state.
(2) Magadhan :
Magadhan was composed of some parts of present-day Bihar, Patna, Gaya and Sahabahs. Its capital was the Gheribruja. The capital city Rajgriho and palataliputra changed the capital respectively.
(3) Vajji or Vrijji :
From the northern part of the Ganges River to the Nepalese Mountains, the Republic of Vajji or the Vrijji was formed on the land. Here Buddha and Mahavira were born. Vaishali was the capital of this state.
(4) Kashi :
Its capital was Varanasi. The two branches of the Ganges, named Varuna and Aussi, surrounded the city, hence the name is called Varanasi.
(5) Kosala :
The Kosala of the eastern region of present-day Uttar Pradesh. Its capital was Srabanti.
(6) Malla :
The present Uttar Pradesh is located in Deoria, slum, Gorakhpur and Siddharth Nagar. This is a democratic state. The two capital cities of Kusinagar and Paba. Buddhadev breathed his last in Kusinagar.
(7) Chedi :
This state is made up of present-day Bundelkhand and its adjoining areas. Its capital was Suktimati (present day Uttar Pradesh Banda).
(8) Vatsa or Vamsa :
The present Uttar Pradesh was made up of Allahabad and Mirzapur. Its capital was the ancient city Kausambi (present Kosam)
(9) Kuru :
The Kuru consists of some areas of Delhi and its surroundings. Indraprastha was the capital of the kingdom of Kuru. Hastinapur was its main city.
(10) Panchala :
The current Rahilakhand and the Ganges of Uttar Pradesh are part of the YamunaDoab, with the Panchal. The country was divided into Uttara-Panchala and Dakshina-Panchala. The capital of the northwest was Adhichhatra or Chatrapati and the southern quarter was the capital Kampilya or Kampil.
The present Rajpattana consists of a state of Matsya with Jaipur, Bharatpur. Its capital was Biratnagar.
(12) Surasena :
It was located in Mathura in the present Uttar Pradesh. Its capital is Mathura.
(13) Ashmak :
Potali, Putan or Podan, was the capital of the Ashmak State situated on the bank of Godavari river in south India.
(14) Avanti :
The present is made of Malab and Madhya Pradesh. It had two capitals. Magadha occupied it.Ujjaini was the capital of integrated Avanti.
(15) Gandhara :
The state was located in present-day Pakistan's Peshawar and Rawalpindi. Teksasila was its capital city.
(16) Kamboja :
In the north-western India, the kingdom of Gandhara was near the Komboja state. Its capital was Rajpur.
Sixteen Mahajanapadas Feature :
Though most of these monopolies were monarchy, the Republic of the two states (eg Vajji or Vrijji and Malla) were established. Contradictions and rivalry between the states for political supremacy In order to consolidate the kingdom of four kingdoms (Magadha, Kosala, Avanti and Vatsa or Vamsa), they became stronger. Then, for the formation of empire, these four kingdoms fought for war. At last, Magadha established the first united empire in India by winning this war.