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List of Mahajanapadas (16), Capitals & Locations [PDF]

After the age of Vedic Culture, (from the sixth to fourth centuries BCE) with the ‘janapada‘ started making “Mahajanapadas” by expanding the empire. The land between Himalayas and Narmada was divided into sixteen independent states. These states are known as ‘Mahajanapadas‘.

» Here is a list of all the 16 ‘Mahajanapadas with their capitals and present day location.

# 16 Mahajanapadas and their Capitals

Mahajanapadas Capital Location
Magadha Girivraj or Rajgriha District Patna, Gaya and part of Shahabad in Bihar
Anga Champa or Champanagari Munger and Bhagalpur Dist of Bihar
Kashi Varanashi Varanashi dist of Uttar Pradesh
Kosala Saravasti Faizabad, Gonda region or Eastern UP
Malla Kushinagar or Pawa South of Vaishali dist in UP
Kuru Hastinapur Haryana and Delhi
Chedi Shaktiman Eastern part of Bundelkhand
Panchal Ahichharta, Kampilya Rahilkhand Western Uttar Pradesh
Sursena Mathura Brajmandal Mathura region
Matsya Viratnagar Alwar, Jaipur, Bharatput in Rajshtan
Avanti Malwa/Ujjain Ujjain District
Gandhara Taxila Western Part of Pakistan and Afghanistan
Kamboj Rajaput/Hataka Punch area in Kashmir and Hazara dist of Pakistan
Ashmika Potana / Patali Between river Narmada and Godavari
Vatsa Kaushambi Dist of Alahabad Mirzapur of Uttar Pradesh
Vajji Vaishali Vaishali dist. of Bihar


» Five Mahajanapadas were most powerful than others. They are Magadha, Avanti, Kashi, Kosala and Vajji.

» Buddhist and Jain literature present a list of 16 Mahajanapadas with minor variation of names.

» The Buddhist text ‘Anguttara Nikaya‘ which is a part of the Sutta pitaka gives a list of sixteen Mahajanapadas in time of Buddha. Between these Magadha was the most powerful kingdom.

TRY MCQ on 16 Mahajanapadas

16 Mahajanapadas PDF