Kosala

Kosala
Ancient kingdom, northern India.

Roughly corresponding to the historical region of Oudh, in what is now south-central Uttar Pradesh state, it extended into present-day Nepal. In the 6th century BC it rose to become one of the dominant states in northern India. The Buddha was born there. Magadha conquered Kosala с 490 BC, and it became known as Northern Kosala to distinguish it from a larger kingdom to the south known variously as Kosala, Southern Kosala, or Great Kosala.

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▪ ancient kingdom, India
      ancient kingdom of northern India, roughly corresponding to the historical region of Oudh, in what is now south-central Uttar Pradesh state. Kosala extended across both banks of the Sarayu (modern Ghāghara) River and north into what is now Nepal. According to the Rāmāyaṇa, Kosala was ruled by kings descended from the sun; one of these kings was Rāma, whose capital was Ayodhyā, near modern Faizābād.

      Kosala rose in political importance early in the 6th century BC to become one of the 16 states dominant in northern India. It annexed the powerful kingdom of Kāśī; and about 500 BC, during the reign of King Prasenajit (Pasenadi), it was regarded as one of the four powers of the north (perhaps the dominant power). At that time Kosala could command the trade routes of the Ganges River basin. The Buddha, who was born in the Śākya (Sākiya) tribe of northern Kosala (c. 563 BC), often preached at the capital city of Śrāvastī (Sāvatthi), where he passed the rainy season during the last 25 years of his life.

      There had been a matrimonial alliance between Kosala and Magadha, but about 490 BC war broke out between them. As a result, Kosala seems to have been weakened and never regained its position of control. Kosala was absorbed into Magadha sometime during the reign of the latter's king Ajātaśatru (c. 491–c. 459 BC).

      In later times Kosala was known as northern Kosala, to distinguish it from a large kingdom to the south known variously as Kosala, southern Kosala, or Great Kosala, on the upper Mahānadi River (now in eastern Madhya Pradesh state). This latter kingdom, with its capital at Sripura (later Sripur, Raipur), was founded, according to the Rāmāyaṇa, by Rāma's son Kuśa and known by this name until the 12th century AD.

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Universalium. 2010.

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