• Kanva dynasty, also called Kanvayanas, the successors of the Shungas in the North Indian kingdom of Magadha, who ruled about 72–28 BCE
  • The Puranic literature shows that the Kanva Dynasty ruled from Pataliputra, Magadha in Eastern India, the former capital of the Shunga Empire. Their coins are primarily found in and around the region of Vidisha in Central India, the capital of later Shunga rulers.



  • The Kanva dynasty was established by Vasudeva Kanva in 73 BCE.
    • Vasudeva was initially a minister of the Shunga Emperor Devabhuti, who then assassinated the former emperor and usurped the throne
  • Vasudeva was succeeded by his son Bhumimitra.
  • Bhumimitra ruled for fourteen years and was later succeeded by his son Narayana; later by Susharman who was the last king of the Kanva dynasty.
  • According to the Puranas, the last king of the Kanva dynasty was killed by Balipuccha, who founded the Andhra dynasty.
  • Further, The extent of Kanva territory was confined to the areas of Sunga rule.


Other known facts of Kanva Dynasty

  • The Kanva kings were Brahmins. They were descendants of Sage Saubhari.
  • The defeat of the Kanva dynasty by the Satavahana dynasty was a localised event in Central India.
    • However, numismatic and epigraphic evidence suggests that Magadha itself came under the hegemony of the Mitra dynasty of Kaushambi from the 1st century BCE until the 2nd century CE.
  • Thus after a short reign of about 45 years the Kanva dynasty disappeared from the political field of India and with them vanished the name and fame of the Magadhan empire.