Shunga Empire

Man on a relief, Bharhut, Shunga period.
Royal family, Shunga, West Bengal 1st century BCE.
Shunga horseman, Bharhut.
Shunga period stupa at Sanchi.
East Gateway and Railings, Red Sandstone, Bharhut Stupa, 2nd century BCE. Indian Museum, Kolkata.
The Great Stupa under the Shungas. The Shungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Extent of the Shunga Empire
Vedika pillar with "Yavana" Greek warrior. Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga Period, c. 100-80 BC. Reddish brown sandstone. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
The Yavanarajya inscription, dated to "year 116 of Yavana hegemony", probably 70 or 69 BCE, was discovered in Mathura. Mathura Museum.
The Heliodorus pillar was built in Vidisha under the Shungas, at the instigation of Heliodorus, ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas. The pillar originally supported a statue of Garuda. Established circa 100 BCE.
The Sunga territory circa 100 BCE, greatly reduced to the region of Magadha only, with many independent, petty kingdoms such as such as Mathura and Panchala
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Elephant and Riders.
Balustrade post with Lakshmi.
Balustrade post with Yaksha.
Pillar with elephants supporting a wheel.
Floral motif.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE.
Ashoka supported by his two wives. Similar to [[:File:Sanchi King Ashoka with his Queens, South Gate, Stupa no. 1.jpg|the later relief at Gateway 1]].
Relic boxes found inside the stupa.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p.82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Chandraketugarth, goddess of fecundity.
Shunga Yakshi, 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga masculine figurine (molded plate). 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga woman with child. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga Yaksha. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga mother figure, with attendant. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga fecundity deity. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Baluster-holding yakṣa, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga period (2nd–1st century BCE). Guimet Museum.
Amorous royal couple. Shunga, 1st century BCE, West Bengal.
Sunga Love Scene.
Bronze coin of the Shunga period, Eastern India. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Another Shunga coin
A copper coin of 1/4 karshapana of Ujjain in Malwa.
Shunga coin.

Ancient Indian dynasty from Magadha that controlled areas of the central and eastern Indian subcontinent from around 185 to 73 BCE.

- Shunga Empire

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King of the Indo-Greek Kingdom, who reigned from his capital at Taxila.

Portrait of Antialcidas
Silver tetradrachm of King Antialcidas. Obv: Bust of Antialcidas wearing aegis and holding a spear, with Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΑΛΚΙΔΟΥ "Of Victorious King Antialcidas". Rev: Zeus with lotus-tipped sceptre, in front of an elephant with a bell (symbol of Taxila), surmouted by Nike holding a wreath, crowning the elephant. Kharoshti legend: MAHARAJASA JAYADHARASA ANTIALIKITASA "Victorious King Antialcidas". Pushkalavati mint.
Inscription on the Heliodorus pillar made by Antialcidas' Ambassador Heliodorus in 110 BCE.
Silver drachm of King Antialcidas. 
Obv: Bust of Antialcidas wearing a helmet, with Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΑΛΚΙΔΟΥ "Of Victorious King Antialcidas". 
Rev: Seated Zeus holding sceptre, with Nike on his extended arm, holding out a wreath to a baby elephant with bell. Kharoshti legend: MAHARAJASA JAYADHARASA ANTIALIKITASA "Victorious King Antialcidas".
Antialcidas wearing the kausia, with Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΑΛΚΙΔΟΥ "Of Victorious King Antialcidas" Japan Currency Museum.
Lysias was a contemporary of Antialcidas.
Gandhara seal of king on elephant receiving wreath of victory, a motif with some similarity to the coins of Antialcidas.
Antialkidas with Zeus directly giving wreath of victory to the elephant. With Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΑΛΚΙΔΟΥ "Of Victorious King Antialcidas"

Though there are few sources for the late Indo-Greek history, Antialcidas is known from an inscription left on a pillar (the Heliodorus pillar), which was erected by his ambassador Heliodorus at the court of the Shunga king Bhagabhadra at Vidisha, near Sanchi.

Yuga Purana

Sanskrit text and the last chapter of a Jyotisha text Vriddhagargiya Samhita.

Mitchener's translation of the Yuga Purana.
Relief depicting an Indo-Greek warrior, from Bharhut, c.100 BCE

It includes mythology, but also chronicles the Magadha empire, Maurya emperor Shalishuka, the Shunga dynasty the Yavanas, and Sakas.


Vasumitra (or Sumitra, according to the d manuscript of the Matsya Purana) ((r.

The opening page of chapters 13-14, Matsya Purana (Sanskrit, Devanagari)

131 – 124 BCE); died 124 BCE), was the fourth ruler of the Shunga Empire of North India.


Ancient republican people located in Punjab or north-eastern Rajasthan.

"Arjunayana" in the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudragupta.

They emerged as a political power during the Shunga period (c.


Indian king belonging to the Satavahana dynasty.

The Simuka inscription (photograph and rubbing) at the Naneghat Caves, in early Pali script: 𑀭𑀸𑀬𑀸 𑀲𑀺𑀫𑀼𑀓 𑀲𑀸𑀢𑀯𑀸𑀳𑀦𑁄 𑀲𑀺𑀭𑀺𑀫𑀢𑁄 Rāyā Simuka - Sātavāhano sirimato "King Simuka Satavahana, the illustrious one"
Cave 19
The Naneghat inscription. Dated to 70-60 BCE, it mentions reigning king Satakarni I and queen Naganika, and his probable father, the "illustrious" Simuka.

According to the Puranic lists of future kings, "137 years after the accession of Chandragupta Maurya, the Sungas will rule for 112 years and then the Kanvayanas for 45 years whose last king Susharman will be killed by the Andhra Simuka".

Mauryan art

Art produced during the period of the Mauryan Empire, which was the first empire to rule over most of the Indian subcontinent, between 322 and 185 BCE.

Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers.
The Pataliputra capital, showing both Achaemenid and Greek influence, with volute, bead and reel, meander and honeysuckle designs. Early Mauryan period, 4th-3rd century BC.
Single Lion capital at Vaishali
Statuettes of the Mauryan era
The two monumental Yakshas discovered in Patna (size: 2 meters tall), and thought to be 3rd century BCE. The two Brahmi inscriptions starting with Gupta_ashoka_y.svgGupta ashoka khe.jpg... (Yakhe... for "Yaksha...") are paleographically of a later date, circa 2nd century CE Kushan. Left statue inscription: "Yakhe Achusatigika". Right statue inscription: "Yakhe Sanatananda". Indian Museum, Kolkota.
"Ringstone with Four Goddesses and Four Date Palms", Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
Broken section with "goddess" flanked by birds, probably geese, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
Lomas Rishi Cave in the Barabar Caves, 3rd century BCE.
Plan of the 80-columns pillared hall in Kumhrar.
Silver punch marked coin of the Mauryan empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant (3rd century BCE)
Female terracotta figure, northern India, c. 320-200 BCE
Head of an Indian Village Deity, terracotta, 3rd century BCE
Mother goddess (terracotta) from Mathura, 3rd century BCE
Elephant (terracotta) from Mathura, 3rd century BCE
Forepart of an animal (terracotta) from Mathura, 3rd century BCE
Monkey (terracotta) from Mathura, 3rd-2nd century BCE
The Lohanipur torso.
Head from Sarnath,
Statue of Matrikas found near Agam Kuan, Patna
2nd-century statuette
Dharmek Stupa at Sarnath
Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edict of Ashoka (238 BCE), in Brahmi, sandstone, British Museum
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar. Kabul Museum.
Stone Sphere with Scenes of Rites at the Shrine of a Yaksha (male nature spirit) (Maurya period, 3rd century BCE)
Serpent Hood (Chunar sandstone) from Rajgir, ca. 3rd century BCE
Patna griffin.
Masarh lion.

The ringstone is a distinctive type of artefact and miniature sculpture made in India during the approximate period of the Mauryan Empire and the following Sunga Empire (187-78 BCE).

Datta dynasty

Dynasty of ruler who flourished in the northern India in the areas of Mathura and Ayodhya around the 1st century BCE – 1st century CE.

Coin of Ramadatta. Obv. Elephant facing. Rev. Standing figure with symbols.
Coin of Sivadatta, minted in Almora. Obv: railing with symbol between the posts. Obv: Sivadatasa, uncertain central symbol, margin: deer and tree within railing.
Coin of Uttamadatta.
Coin of Purushadatta.
Coin of Ramadatta.

It is thought that they replaced the Deva dynasty, which had originated with the rise of Sunga Empire Pushyamitra, and that they were in turn replaced by the Mitra dynasty.

Relics of Sariputta and Moggallana

The relics of Sariputta and Moggallana refers to the cremated remains of the Buddhist disciples Sariputta (Sanskrit: Śāriputra; Pali: Sāriputta) and Moggallana (Sanskrit: Maudgalyāyana; Pali: Moggallāna).

Sanchi stupa No 3, where the relics of Sariputta and Moggallana were first discovered
Sketch made by Cunningham of the relic caskets of Sariputta and Maha Moggallana found at Sanchi, Stupa No 3
Alexander Cunningham, one of the archaeologists who made the discovery of the relics of the chief disciples
Depiction of the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1873, then called the South Kensington Museum
The National Museum of Colombo (then called the Colombo Museum), where the relics resided for nearly two years after being returned by the British
Interior of the Dharmarajika Chetiya Vihara of the Maha Bodhi Society, where the relics were first stored upon their return to India. The return of the relics was considered one of the Society's greatest accomplishments.
The Kaba Aye Pagoda, where Burma's portion of the relics are enshrined.
The Mahabodhi Society, in Colombo, where Sri Lanka's portion of the relics are enshrined.
The Chethiyagiri Vihara in Sanchi, where India's portion of the relics are enshrined.

Scholars have also theorized that a Sunga king may have also done a similar redistribution and built stupas such as the one in Sanchi to enshrine them.


Number, numeral and digit.

Two modern handwritten fours
Four mugs
4 as a resin identification code, used in recycling
International maritime signal flag for 4
Playing cards for 4

The Shunga would add a horizontal line on top of the digit, and the Kshatrapa and Pallava evolved the digit to a point where the speed of writing was a secondary concern.


Legendary king who has been featured in hundreds of traditional stories including those in Baital Pachisi and Singhasan Battisi.

A modern depiction of Vikramaditya in Ujjain
Chandragupta II on a coin
Contemporary artist's impression of a vetala hanging from a tree, with Vikramaditya in the background
Kalpasutra and Kalakacharya Katha manuscript

There is little possibility of an historically-unattested, powerful emperor ruling from Ujjain around the first century BCE among the Shungas (187–78 BCE), the Kanvas (75–30), the Satavahanas (230 BCE–220 CE), the Shakas (c.