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Far East Kingdoms

South Asia



Anga was an early Iron Age kingdom covering parts of Bengal and modern central Bihar state in north-eastern India, with a capital at Champa (formerly known as Malini). Along with Kalinga, Pundra, Suhma, and Vanga, it was ruled by one of five originally non-Vedic royal houses. They were all descended from King Vali, according to the Mahabharata, who himself may have been the king of Magadha. His son, Anga, and his people were referred to as Mlechas or barbarians (non-Indo-Europeans, Aryans) in the Atharva Vedas, but they may later have been conquered by Aryans because there is mention of the Kaurava prince, Duryodhana, making his friend Karna king of Anga (in Mahabharata). Vali's descendants may have existed prior to his accession, or perhaps as his contemporaries, as Anga may have consisted of several sub-kingdoms.

The kingdom itself lay on the eastern border of Magadha, and relations between the two were poor, resulting in some hostilities. The Ramayana mentions Anga as the place in which Lord Shiva burned Kamadeva, the god of love, to death. The Puranas mention the names of some of the kings of Anga, as do other works, but the structure of the mentions is such that no dating can be applied and no order of succession can be ascertained, at least until the very last kings of Anga.

(Additional information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)


Son of King Vali. Eponymous founder of the kingdom.

Duryodhana, the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and one of the one hundred Kaurava brothers, establishes Karna as the ruler of the Angas. However, it seems likely that he is just one of several Anga rulers at this time, all controlling their own regions. This could be a memory of the Indo-European conquest of what is probably a Mlecha (non-Vedic) kingdom.

Later, Jarasandha, king of Magadha, gifts the city of Malinipuri to Karna, which he renames Champa.


Half-brother of the Pandavas. Possible king of Vanga too.

c.1300? BC

One of the contemporaries of Jarasandha of the Brhadratha dynasty of Magadha is Jayatsena of Magadha. Jayatsena takes part in the Kurukshetra War in the Mahabharata as one of the leaders on the side of Kauravas, along with Srutayus of Kalinga, Paundraka Vasudeva of Pundra, Malayadwaja of the Pandyas, and Karna of Anga. Bhagadatta of the Naraka kings is also involved in the war.

Griddhkut Hill
Griddhkut Hill, otherwise known as Vulture Peak, in Rajgir is where Lord Buddha used to give sermons, and was also the birthplace of Lord Mahavira


Son. 'Chief of the Angas'.


Possibly also king of Vanga.


Possibly also king of Vanga.



A friend of Kosala King Dasaratha.





Mentioned in the Mahabharata.

fl early 500s BC


Mentioned in the Mahabharata.

fl mid-500s BC


Last king of Anga.

c.550 BC

Said to be a wealthy centre of trade and commerce during its existence, Anga now falls. The Magadhan crown prince, Bimbisara, slays Bramhadatta and annexes the state. While crown prince, Bimbisara acts as viceroy for his father. When he himself becomes king, it seems that Anga is absorbed into the increasingly powerful Magadhan state. In the seventh century AD, a kingdom of Champa emerges in Vietnam. It bears strong Indian influences but there is no evidence of a direct link with Anga.

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