Describe the salient features of Mahajanapadas.

The salient features of Mahajanpadas are as follows:-

i) Early Buddhist and jain Texts mentions sixteen states known as “Mahajanpadas”, such as Vajji, Magadha, Koshala, Panchala, Gandhara, Avanti etc. These five janpadas were important, powerful and prosperous states hence making them “Mahajanpadas”.

ii) Most of the Mahajanpadas were ruled by the king hence had authoritative rule over its territory. However there were some Mahajanpadas where rule was in the hands of people.

iii) Each Mahajanpadas had a capital city, which was often fortified ensuring its security from all the corners.

iv) Maintaining these fortified cities as well as providing for armies and bureaucracies required resources.

v) Rulers were advised to collect taxes and tribute from cultivators, traders and artisans to generate state’s revenue which helped in the development. They also accept donation.

vi) Brahmins began to compile scripture called “Dharmshastra” which included rule and morality of the monarch. It was mentioned that king should be Kshatriya.