Significance of Nanda Empire
The Nanda Kings established a strong monarchy based on an efficient bureaucracy and a mighty army. The conquests made by the Nandas paved the way for the political unification of India under the Mauryas. The age of the Nanda Empire was significant also for the fact that it brought an end to the immemorial orthodox tradition of the divine right of the Kshatriyas to hold the royal power.
Mahapadma Nanda was the founder of Nanda Empire. It is believed that his mother was a Shudra. The new ruler Mahapadma Nanda was a representative of inferior Sudra caste and a “destroyer of Kshatriyas”. He was a product of the prevailing spirit of revolt against all conservative traditions both in religion and politics.
If Buddhism and Jainism challenged the orthodox Brahmanical religion, the rise of a Sudra chief named Mahapadma Nanda on the throne of Magadha signified a spirit of revolt against traditional Kshatriya domination.
The Nandas built canals and irrigation projects for increasing the fertility of the land. Magadha was prosperous for iron ores which she could steadily get from her mines. The vast army of the Nandas could be well equipped with suitable weapons due to abundance of iron supply. The agriculturists could get plough shears and implements.