Ikshvaku dynasty

The Ikshvaku dynasty (lit. sugarcane), in Puranic literature, was a dynasty[1] founded by the legendary king Ikshvaku. The dynasty is also known as Sūryavaṁśa (the Solar dynasty). Lord Rama belonged to the Ikshavaku dynasty.[2] Twenty-two out of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankara belonged to this dynasty.[3] Rishabha is present in both Hindu as well as Jain mythology. Both refers to the same person. According to the Buddhist texts, Prince Siddhartha belonged to this dynasty.

The important personalities belonging to this royal house are Mandhatri , Muchukunda , Ambarisha , Bharata Chakravartin, Bahubali, Harishchandra, Dilīpa, Sagara,[4] Raghu, Rama and Pasenadi. Although, both the Hindu Puranas and the Buddhist texts include Shuddodhana, Gautama Buddha and Rahula in their accounts of the Ikshvaku dynasty, but according to the Buddhist texts, Mahasammata, an ancestor of Ikshvaku was the founder of this dynasty,[5] who was elected by the people as the first king of the present era. According to the Puranas, supreme preceptor of the Ikshvaku dynasty was sage Vashishta.

Wat phra keaw ramayana fresco
The Ramayana was adopted by several Asian cultures. This Thai artwork shows the battle of Rama and Ravana.

See also



  1. ^ Geography of Rigvedic India, M.L. Bhargava, Lucknow 1964, pp. 15-18, 46-49, 92-98, 100-/1, 136
  2. ^ Zimmer 1952, p. 218.
  3. ^ Zimmer 1952, p. 220.
  4. ^ Ikshaku tribe The Mahabharata translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1883 -1896), Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section CVI, p. 228 'There was born in the family of the Ikshaku, a ruler of the earth named Sagara, endued with beauty, and strength...".
  5. ^ Malalasekera, G. P. (2007) [1937]. Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names: A-Dh. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 461–2. ISBN 978-81-208-3021-9.


Preceded by
Kulakara (in Jainism)
Ikshvaku Dynasty Succeeded by

Ajitnatha (lit. invincible) was the second tirthankara of the present age, avasarpini (half time cycle) according to Jainism. He was born to King Jitashatru and Queen Vijaya at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku dynasty. According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.


Bhagiratha (Sanskrit: भगीरथ, bhagīratha) was a great king who brought the River Ganges, personified as the river goddess Ganga, to Earth from the heavens. When he became prince of Sagara Dynasty, learning the awful end of his forefathers, who were unable to attain region of gods, with a sorrowful heart made over his kingly duties to his minister, and went for practicing austerities to Himalayas. He did penance for a thousand years (according to god timeline) on the advice of his guru Trithala, to please Ganga, to gain the release his 60,000 great-uncles from the curse of saint Kapila. Ganga told him if she will descend from the sky to the earth, the force of her fall will be difficult to sustain. She asked him to obtain the favour from sable blue throated god, Shiva, as no one except him is able to sustain her. He then did severe penance for Shiva and asked him to do so. Shiva granted him the boon, which eventually led to descent of the goddess Ganga in the form of the river Ganges, to the earth, filling the sea, drunk up by Agastya. To commemorate his efforts, the head stream of the river is called Bhagirathi, till it meets Alaknanda River at Devprayag.


In Jainism, Chandraprabha was the eighth Tirthankara of Avasarpini (present half cycle of time as per Jain cosmology). Chandraprabhu was born to King Mahasena and Queen Lakshmana Devi at Chandrapuri to the Ikshvaku dynasty. According to Jain texts, his birth-date was the twelfth day of the Posh Krishna month of the Indian calendar. He is said to have become a siddha, i.e. soul at its purest form or a liberated soul.


Dilīpa in legends, an emperor of Ikshvaku dynasty of ramayana, is said to have been one of the most righteous and chivalrous emperors. The stories about the life and deeds of emperors of Ikshvaku dynasty, are recounted in ancient poetic work of Kalidasa called Raghuvaṃśa.

There was another pandava king Dilipa, whom Delhi is named after, who descended from Parikshit - the son of Abhimanyu and grandson of Arjuna.


Harishchandra is a legendary Indian king of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who appears in several legends in texts such as Aitareya Brahmana, Mahabharata, the Markandeya Purana, and the Devi-Bhagavata Purana and was the son of Sathyavrata (Trishanku).

The most famous of these stories is the one mentioned in Markandeya Purana. According to this legend, Harishchandra gave away his kingdom, sold his family and agreed to be a slave – all to fulfill a promise he had made to the sage Vishwamitra.


In Hindu religion, Ikshvaku (Sanskrit; ikṣvāku, from Sanskrit ikṣu; Pali: Okkāka), one of the ten sons of Shraddhadeva Manu, was the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty, known as the "Suryavansha", and the kingdom of Kosala in ancient India. According to the Vishnu Purana, he had a hundred sons, among whom the eldest was Vikukshi. Ikshvaku's another son, named Nimi, founded the Kingdom of the Videhas.

King Sagara

In Hindu mythology, Sagara (Sanskrit: सगर; IAST: Sagara) is a prominent king of the Suryavansha dynasty in Vidarbha, and the other from royal lineage of Sivi, The Mahabharata translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

Kusha (Ramayana)

Kusha or Kusa (Sanskrit: कुश) and his twin brother Lava were the children of Rama and Sita. Their story is recounted in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Hindu traditions claim he ruled the entire region of Kashmir, Indus River and Hindu Kush as frontier lands of India known as Hindu Kush Kshetra and founded the city of Kashmir in the valley and Kasur with Lavapuri of lava in base lands, though local lore contends Kasur was founded in 1525 by Pashtun migrants. His brother Lava is traditionally believed to have founded Lavapuri (current day city of Lahore).

The imperial line that ruled Kingdom of Benares-Kashi and the Maurya Empire, which ruled South Asia from 320-185 BCE, claimed descent from Kusha. Kusha is said to be a Raghuvanshi Ikshvaku Suryavanshi.

Lava (Ramayana)

Lava (Sanskrit: लव) and his twin brother Kusa, were the children of Rama and Sita. Their story is recounted in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Lava was younger of the two and is said to have a wheatish golden complexion like their mother, while Kusha had a blackish complexion like their father.

Lava is purported to have founded Lavapuri

(the modern day city of Lahore),

which is named after him. The Sikarwar Rajputs, the Lohana, Awadhiya and Leva Patidar are present-day Indo-Aryan ethnic groups who claim their descent from Lava. Lava belongs to the Ikshvaku clan or Suryavansha Dynasty of Kshatriyas in ancient India.


King Nabhi or Nabhi Rai was the 14th or the last Kulakara of avasarpini. He was the father of Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of present avasarpini.


Padmaprabha, also known as Padmaprabhu, was the sixth Jain Tirthankara of the present age (Avsarpini). According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.

In the Jain tradition, it is believed that Padmaprabha was born to King Shridhar and Queen Susimadevi in the Ikshvaku dynasty at Kausambi which is in today's Uttar Pradesh, India. Padmaprabha means ‘bright as a red lotus’ in Sanskrit.It is said in Śvetāmbara sources that his mother had a fancy for a couch of red lotuses – padma – while he was in her womb.His birth date was the twelfth day of the Kartik krishna month of the Indian calendar. On the eleventh day of the dark half of the month of Margashirsh, Bhagwan Padmaprabha, along with other 308 saints was liberated and attained moksha on Sammet Shikhar (mountain).


Pasenadi (Sanskrit: Prasenajit) (c. 6th century BCE) was an Aikṣvāka dynasty ruler of Kosala. Sāvatthī was his capital. He succeeded his father Sanjaya Mahākosala. He was a prominent Upāsaka (lay follower) of Gautama Buddha, who built many Buddhist monasteries.


In Jainism, Puṣpadanta (Sanskrit: पुष्पदन्त), also known as Suvidhinatha, was the ninth Tirthankara of the present age (Avasarpini). According to Jain belief, he became a siddha and an arihant, a liberated soul that has destroyed all of its karma.


Raghu was a ruler of the Ikshvaku dynasty. According to the Raghuvamsha, he was born to the king Dilīpa and his queen Sudakshina. His name in Sanskrit means the fast one, deriving from Raghu's chariot-driving abilities. So celebrated were the exploits of Raghu, that his dynasty itself came to be known as the Raghuvamsha or the Raghukula after him. The history of his dynasty is elaborated upon by Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsha.

After acceding to the throne, he expanded his kingdom in all four directions. Later, on the instruction of his Guru Vashistha, he performed Vishwajit Yajna and gave all his wealth as Dāna. After completion of Yajna when all the wealth was given as Dāna, Sage Kautsa, a disciple of Vartantu came, to whom Raghu asked, "what should be given to him as Guru-Dakshina?", to which Kautsa replied, "your Seva would suffice". Kautsa became furious when Raghu persisted repeatedly and said to him, "having learnt 14 Vidyas from me, you must give me 14 koti gold coins as Guru-Dakshina". Raghu, being a man of his words, asked him to rest in his palace and assured him of giving the Guru-Dakshina within a day.

Raghu commanded his army to gear up for invasion to Loka of Kubera on the following morning. When he was heading towards the Kuber Loka, his treasurer came to him and told him that Kubera, by the virtue of fear of Raghu, rained gold coins last night. Hence, Raghu gave those gold coins as Guru-Dakshina to Sage Kautsa and fulfilled his Vachan.


Sambhavanatha was the third Jain tirthankara (omniscient teaching god) of the present age (Avasarpini). Sambhavanatha was born to King Jitārī and Queen Susena at Sravasti. His birth date was the fourteenth day of the Margshrsha shukla month of the Indian calendar. Like all arihant (omniscient beings), Sambhavanatha at the end of his life destroyed all associated karmas and attained moksha (liberation).


Shitalanatha was the tenth tirthankara of the present age according to Jainism. According to Jain beliefs, he became a siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Jains believe Shitalanatha was born to King Dradhrath and Queen Nanda at Bhaddilpur into the Ikshvaku dynasty. His birth date was the twelfth day of the Magha Krishna month of the Indian national calendar. Shitalanatha is associated with Svastika (Dig.)/ Srivatasa (Svet.) emblem, Pilurikha tree, Brahma Yaksha and Manavi (Dig.) & Ashoka (Svet.) Yakshi.


Shreyansanath was the eleventh Jain Tirthankara of the present age (Avasarpini). According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Shreyansanatha was born to King Vishnu and Queen Vishnu Devi at Simhapuri, near Sarnath in the Ikshvaku dynasty. His birth date was the twelfth day of the Falgun Krishna month of the Indian calendar.


Sumatinatha was the fifth Jain Tirthankara of the present age (Avasarpini). Sumatinatha was born to Kshatriya King Megha (Meghaprabha) and Queen Mangala (Sumangala) at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku dynasty. His Janma Kalyanak (birthday) was the eighth day of the Vaisakha Sudi month of the Jain calendar.


Suparśvanātha (Sanskrit: सुपर्श्वनाथ Suparśvanātha) was the seventh Jain Tīrthankara of the present age (avasarpini). He was born to King Pratistha and Queen Prithvi at Varanasi on 12 Jestha Shukla in the Ikshvaku clan. He is said to have attained moksha at Śikharji on the sixth day of the dark half of the month of Phālguna'.

Ikshvaku dynasty

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