The History of Licchavis
The Lichchhavis (also Lichchavi, Licchavi) were an important member of the Vajjian confederacy. The early Indian traditions describe the Lichchhavis as Kshatriyas. Scholars reject the theory of foreign origin of the Lichchhavis on the strength of these traditions. But they were degraded to the status of fallen Kshatriyas due to their championship of non-Brahmanical creeds like Jainism and Buddhism.
Rise of the Licchavi Power
In the 6th century B.C. the Licchavi power was firmly established. Though the Lichchhavis belonged to the Vajji confederacy, they had autonomous status. Their capital was Vaisali.Originally, they seem to have an independent status. The Buddhist records preserve the names of important Licchavi leaders among whom the name of Chetaka deserves special mention. Chetaka’s sister Trisala was the mother of Mahavira, the preacher of Jainism. Chetaka’s daughter Chellana was married to king Bimbisara of Magadha. The Lichchhavis thus appear to be highly connected.
The Magadha-Licchavi Struggle-fall of the Licchavis
The Licchavis turned to be great rivals of Magadhan monarchy. In the reign of Bimbisara of Magadha, they invaded the Magadhan kingdom. Inthe reign of Ajatasatru, a protracted war began between Magadha and the Lichchhavis. The latter were united with the Vajjis in a confederacy. In the struggle that followed the Lichchhavis and the Vajjis were destroyed.The causes of the Magadha-Lichchavi war were many. Ajatasatru wanted to take revenge on the Lichchhavis, as their chief Chetaka had refused to extrad……………