A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
The Nanda dynasty ruled in northern India during the 4th century BCE. The Nandas overthrew the Shaishunaga dynasty in the Magadha region of eastern India, expanded their empire to include a larger part of northern India. Ancient sources differ regarding the names of the Nanda kings, the duration of their rule, but based on the Buddhist tradition recorded in the Mahavamsa, they appear to have ruled during c. 345-322 BCE. Modern historians identify the ruler of the Gangaridai and the Prasii mentioned in ancient Greco-Roman accounts as a Nanda king; the chroniclers of Alexander the Great, who invaded north-western India during 327-325 BCE, characterize this king as a militarily powerful and prosperous ruler. The prospect of a war against this king led to a mutiny among the soldiers of Alexander, who had to retreat from India without waging a war against him; the Nandas built on the successes of their Haryanka and Shaishunaga predecessors, instituted a more centralized administration. Ancient sources credit them with amassing great wealth, a result of introduction of new currency and taxation system.
Ancient texts suggest that the Nandas were unpopular among their subjects because of their low status birth, their excessive taxation, their general misconduct. The last Nanda king was overthrown by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Empire, the latter's mentor Chanakya. Both Indian and Greco-Roman traditions characterize the dynasty's founder as of low birth. According to Greek historian Diodorus, Porus told Alexander that the contemporary Nanda king was thought to be the son of a barber. Roman historian Curtius adds that according to Porus, this barber became the former queen's paramour thanks to his attractive looks, treacherously assassinated the king, usurped the supreme authority by pretending to act as a guardian for the princes, killed the princes; the 12th century Jain scholar Hemachandra corroborates the Greco-Roman accounts, stating that the first Nanda king was the son of a barber and a courtesan. The Puranas name the dynasty's founder as Mahapadma, claim that he was the son of the Shaishunaga king Mahanandin.
However these texts hint at the low birth of the Nandas, when they state that Mahapadma's mother belonged to the Shudra class, the lowest of the varnas. Since the claim of the barber ancestry of the dynasty's founder is attested by two different traditions - Greco-Roman and Jain, it appears to be more reliable than the Puranic claim of Shaishunaga ancestry; the Buddhist tradition calls the Nandas "of unknown lineage". According to Mahavamsa, the dynasty's founder was Ugrasena, "a man of the frontier": he fell into the hands of a gang of robbers, became their leader, he ousted the sons of the Shaishunaga king Kalashoka. There is little unanimity among the ancient sources regarding the total duration of the Nanda reign or their regnal period. For example, the Matsya Purana assigns 88 years to the rule of the first Nanda king alone, while some scripts of the Vayu Purana state the total duration of the Nanda rule as 40 years; the 16th century Buddhist scholar Taranatha assigns 29 years to the Nandas.
It is difficult to assign other early dynasties of Magadha. Historians Irfan Habib and Vivekanand Jha date the Nanda rule from c. 344-322 BCE, relying on the Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition which states that the Nandas ruled for 22 years. Historian Upinder Singh dates the Nanda rule from 364/345 BCE to 324 BCE, based on the assumption that Gautama Buddha died in c. 486 BCE. The 14th century Jain writer Merutunga, in his Vichara-shreni, states that king Chandra Pradyota of Avanti died on the same night as the Jain leader Mahavira, he was succeeded by his son Palaka. After that, the Nandas captured the Avanti capital Ujjayini; the Nanda rule, spanning the reigns of nine kings, lasted for 155 years, after which the Mauryas came to power. According to the Shvetambara Jain tradition, Mahavira died in 527 BCE, which would mean that the Nanda rule - according to Merutunga's writings - lasted from 467 BCE to 312 BCE. According to historian R. C. Majumdar, while all the chronological details provided by Merutunga cannot be accepted without corroborative evidence, they cannot be dismissed as unreliable unless contradicted by more reliable sources.
The Buddhist and Puranic traditions all state that there were 9 Nanda kings, but the sources differ on the names of these kings. According to the Greco-Roman accounts, the Nanda rule spanned two generations. For example, the Roman historian Curtius suggests that the dynasty's founder was a barber-turned-king, that his son was the dynasty's last king, overthrown by Chandragupta; the Greek accounts name only one Nanda king - Agrammes or Xandrames -, a contemporary of Alexander. "Agrammes" may be a Greek transcription of the Sanskrit word "Augrasainya". The Puranas, compiled in India in c. 4th century CE state that the Nandas ruled for two generations. According to the Puranic tradition, the dynasty's founder Mahapadma destroyed the Kshatriyas, attained undisputed sovereignty; the Matsya Purana assigns Mahapadma an long reign of 88 years, while the Vayu Purana mentions the length of his reign as only 28 years. The Puranas further state that Mahapadma's 8 sons ruled in succession after him for a total of 12 years, but name only one of these sons: Sukalpa.
A Vayu Purana script names him as "Sahalya", which correspo
Chanakya was an ancient Indian teacher, economist and royal advisor. He is traditionally identified as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra, a text dated to between the 2nd century BCE and the 3rd century CE; as such, he is considered the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in India, his work is thought of as an important precursor to classical economics. His works were lost near the end of the Gupta Empire and not rediscovered until the early twentieth century. Chanakya assisted the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta in his rise to power, he is credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to his son Bindusara. There is little purely historical information about Chanakya: most of it comes from semi-legendary accounts. Thomas Trautmann identifies four distinct accounts of the ancient Chanakya-Chandragupta katha: In all the four versions, Chanakya feels insulted by the Nanda king, vows to destroy him.
After dethroning the Nandas, he installs Chandragupta as the new king. Buddhist version The legend of Chanakya and Chandragupta is detailed in the Pali-language Buddhist chronicles of Sri Lanka, it is not mentioned in the oldest of these chronicles. The earliest Buddhist source to mention the legend is Mahavamsa, dated between 5th and 6th centuries. Vamsatthappakasini, a commentary on Mahavamsa provides some more details about the legend, its author is unknown, it is dated variously from 6th century CE to 13th century CE. Some other texts provide additional details about the legend. Jain verison The Chandragupta-Chanakya legend is mentioned in several commentaries of the Shvetambara canon; the most well-known version of the Jain legend is contained in the Sthaviravali-Charita or Parishishta-Parvan, written by the 12th century writer Hemachandra. Hemachandra's account is based on the Prakrit kathanaka literature composed between the late 1st century CE and mid-8th century CE; these legends are contained in the commentaries on canonical texts such as Uttaradhyayana and Avashyaka Niryukti.
Thomas Trautmann believes that the Jain version is older and more consistent than the Buddhist version of the legend. Kashmiri version Brihatkatha-Manjari by Kshemendra and Kathasaritsagara by Somadeva are two 11th century Kashmiri Sanskrit collections of legends. Both are based on a now-lost Prakrit-language Brihatkatha-Sarit-Sagara, which itself is based on the now-lost Paishachi language Brihatkatha by Gunadhya; the Chanakya-Chandragupta legend in these collections focuses on another character named Shakatala. Mudrarakshasa version Mudrarakshasa is a Sanskrit play by Vishakhadatta, its date is uncertain, but it anachronistically mentions the Hunas, who invaded northern India during the Gupta period. Therefore, it could not have been composed before the Gupta era, it is dated variously from the late 4th century to the 8th century. The Mudrarakshasa legend contains narratives not found in other versions of the Chanakya-Chandragupta legend. Therefore, most of it appears to be pure fiction, without any historical basis.
The ancient Arthashastra has been traditionally attributed to Chanakya by a number of scholars. The Arthashastra identifies its author by the name Kauṭilya, except for one verse that refers to him by the name Vishnugupta. Kauṭilya is the name of the author's gotra. One of the earliest Sanskrit literatures to identify Chanakya with Vishnugupta explicitly was the Panchatantra. Template:Verse needed K. C. Ojha puts forward the view that the traditional identification of Vishnugupta with Kauṭilya was caused by a confusion of the text's editor and its originator, he suggests. Thomas Burrow goes further and suggests that Chanakya and Kauṭilya may have been two different people. According to the Buddhist legend, the Nanda kings who preceded Chandragupta were robbers-turned-rulers. Chanakya was a Brahmin from Takkāsila, he was well-versed in politics. He had canine teeth, his mother feared. To pacify her, Chanakya broke his teeth. Chanakya had an ugly appearance, accentuated by crooked feet. One day, the king Dhana Nanda organized an alms-giving ceremony for Brahmins.
Chanakya went to Pupphapura to attend this ceremony. Disgusted by his ugly appearance, the king ordered him to be thrown out of the assembly. Chanakya broke his sacred thread in anger, cursed the king; the king ordered his arrest. He befriended Dhananada's son Pabbata, instigated him to seize the throne. With help of a signet ring given by the prince, Chanakya fled the palace through a secret door. Chanakya escaped to the Vinjha forest. There, he made 800 million gold coins using a secret technique that allowed him to turn 1 coin into 8 coins. After hiding this money, he started searching for a person worthy of replacing Dhana Nanda. One day, he saw a group of children playing: the young Chandragupta played the role of a king, while other boys pretended to be vassals, ministers, or robbers; the "robbers" were brought before Chandragupta, who ordered their limbs to be cut off, but miraculously re-attached th
Gangaridai is a term used by the ancient Greco-Roman writers to describe a people or a geographical region of the ancient Indian subcontinent. Some of these writers state that Alexander the Great withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the strong war elephant force of the Gangaridai; the writers variously mention the Gangaridai as a distinct tribe, or a nation within a larger kingdom. A number of modern scholars locate Gangaridai in the Ganges Delta of the Bengal region, although alternative theories exist. Gange or Ganges, the capital of the Gangaridai, has been identified with several sites in the region, including Chandraketugarh and Wari-Bateshwar; the Greek writers use the names "Gandaridae", "Gandaritae", "Gandridae" to describe these people. The ancient Latin writers use the name "Gangaridae", a term that seems to have been coined by the 1st century poet Virgil; some modern etymologies of the word Gangaridai split it as "Gaṅgā-rāṣṭra", "Gaṅgā-rāḍha" or "Gaṅgā-hṛdaya". However, D. C.
Sircar believes that the word is the plural form of "Gangarid", means "Ganga people". Several ancient Greek writers mention Gangaridai, but their accounts are based on hearsay; the earliest surviving description of Gangaridai appears in Bibliotheca historica of the 1st century BCE writer Diodorus Siculus. This account is based on a now-lost work the writings of either Megasthenes or Hieronymus of Cardia. In Book 2 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus states that "Gandaridae" territory was located to the east of the Ganges river, 30 stades wide, he mentions that no foreign enemy had conquered Gandaridae, because it of its strong elephant force. He further states that Alexander the Great advanced up to Ganges after subjugating other Indians, but decided to retreat when he heard that the Gandaridae had 4,000 elephants. In Book 17 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus once again describes the "Gandaridae", states that Alexander had to retreat after his soldiers refused to take an expedition against the Gandaridae.
The book mentions that a nephew of Porus fled to the land of the Gandaridae, although C. Bradford Welles translates the name of this land as "Gandara". In Book 18 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus describes India as a large kingdom comprising several nations, the largest of, "Tyndaridae", he further states. He goes on to mention that Alexander did not campaign against this nation, because they had a large number of elephants; the Book 18 description is as follows: Diodorus' account of India in the Book 2 is based on Indica, a book written by the 4th century BCE writer Megasthenes, who visited India. Megasthenes' Indica is now lost, although it has been reconstructed from the writings of Diodorus and other writers. J. W. McCrindle attributed Diodorus' Book 2 passage about the Gangaridai to Megasthenes in his reconstruction of Indica. However, according to A. B. Bosworth, Diodorus' source for the information about the Gangaridai was Hieronymus of Cardia, a contemporary of Alexander and the main source of information for Diodorus' Book 18.
Bosworth points out. This suggests that Diodorus obtained the information about the Gandaridae from another source, appended it to Megasthenes' description of India in Book 2. Plutarch mentions the Gangaridai as "'Gandaritae" and as "Gandridae". Ptolemy, in his Geography, states that the Gangaridae occupied "all the region about the mouths of the Ganges", he names. This suggests. Based on the city's name, the Greek writers used the word "Gangaridai" to describe the local people; the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea does not mention the Gangaridai, but attests the existence of a city that the Greco-Romans described as "Ganges": Dionysius Periegetes mentions "Gargaridae" located near the "gold-bearing Hypanis" river. "Gargaridae" is sometimes believed to be a variant of "Gangaridae", but another theory identifies it with Gandhari people. A. B. Bosworth dismisses Dionysius' account as "a farrago of nonsense", noting that he inaccurately describes the Hypanis river as flowing down into the Gangetic plain.
Gangaridai finds a mention in Greek mythology. In Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica, Datis, a chieftain, leader of the Gangaridae, in the army of Perses III, fought against Aeetes during the Colchian civil war. Colchis was situated on the east of the Black Sea. Aeetes was the famous king of Colchia against whom Jason and the Argonauts undertook their expedition in search of the "Golden Fleece". Perses III was king of the Taurian tribe; the Roman poet Virgil speaks of the valour of the Gangaridae in his Georgics. Quintus Curtius Rufus noted the two nations Gangaridae and Prasii: Pliny the Elder states: The ancient Greek writers provide vague information about the centre of the Gangaridai power; as a result, the historians have put forward various theories about its location. Pliny (1st ce
The word Puranas means "ancient, old", it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics myths and other traditional lore. Composed in Sanskrit, but in regional languages, several of these texts are named after major Hindu deities such as Vishnu and Devi; the Puranas genre of literature is found in both Jainism. The Puranic literature is encyclopedic, it includes diverse topics such as cosmogony, genealogies of gods, kings, heroes and demigods, folk tales, temples, astronomy, mineralogy, love stories, as well as theology and philosophy; the content is inconsistent across the Puranas, each Purana has survived in numerous manuscripts which are themselves inconsistent. The Hindu Puranas are anonymous texts and the work of many authors over the centuries. There are 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, with over 400,000 verses; the first versions of the various Puranas were composed between the 3rd- and 10th-century CE. The Puranas are considered a Smriti, they have been influential in the Hindu culture, inspiring major national and regional annual festivals of Hinduism.
Their role and value as sectarian religious texts and historical texts has been controversial because all Puranas praise many gods and goddesses and "their sectarianism is far less clear cut" than assumed, states Ludo Rocher. The religious practices included in them are considered Vaidika, because they do not preach initiation into Tantra; the Bhagavata Purana has been among the most celebrated and popular text in the Puranic genre, is of non-dualistic tenor. The Puranic literature wove with the Bhakti movement in India, both Dvaita and Advaita scholars have commented on the underlying Vedantic themes in the Maha Puranas. Douglas Harper states that the etymological origins of Puranas are from Sanskrit Puranah "ancient, former," from pura "formerly, before," cognate with Greek paros "before," pro "before," Avestan paro "before," Old English fore, from Proto-Indo-European *pre-, from *per-." Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is hagiographically credited as the compiler of the Puranas. The ancient tradition suggests that there was but one Purana.
Vishnu Purana mentions that Vyasa entrusted his Puranasamhita to his disciple Lomaharshana, who in turn imparted it to his disciples, three of whom compiled their own samhitas. These three, together with Lomaharshana's, comprise the Mulasamhita, from which the eighteen Puranas were derived; the term Purana appears in the Vedic texts. For example, Atharva Veda mentions Purana in XI.7.24 and XV.6.10-11:"The rk and saman verses, the chandas, the Purana along with the Yajus formulae, all sprang from the remainder of the sacrificial food, the gods that resort to heaven. He changed his place and went over to great direction, Itihasa and Purana, verses in praise of heroes followed in going over." The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions Itihasapuranam and recommends that on the 9th day of Pariplava, the hotr priest should narrate some Purana because "the Purana is the Veda, this it is". However, states P. V. Kane, it is not certain whether these texts suggested several works or single work with the term Purana.
The late Vedic text Taittiriya Aranyaka uses the term in the plural. Therefore, states Kane, that in the Vedic period at least, the Puranas referred to three or more texts, that they were studied and recited In numerous passages the Mahabharata mentions'Purana' in both singular and plural forms. Moreover, it is not unlikely that, where the singular'Puranam' was employed in the texts, a class of works was meant. Further, despite the mention of the term Purana or Puranas in the Vedic texts, there is uncertainty about the contents of them until the composition of the oldest Dharmashastra Apastamba Dharmasutra and Gautama Dharmasutra, that mention Puranas resembling with the extant Puranas. Another early mention of the term'Itihas-purana' is found in the Chandogya Upanishad, translated by Patrick Olivelle as "the corpus of histories and ancient tales as the fifth Veda"; the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad refers to purana as the "fifth Veda",According to Thomas Coburn and early extra-puranic texts attest to two traditions regarding their origin, one proclaiming a divine origin as the breath of the Great Being, the other as a human named Vyasa as the arranger of existing material into eighteen Puranas.
In the early references, states Coburn, the term Purana occurs in singular unlike the era which refers to a plural form because they had assumed their "multifarious form". While both these traditions disagree on the origins of the Puranas, they affirm that extant Puranas are not identical with the original Purana. According to the Indologists J. A. B. van Buitenen and Cornelia Dimmitt, the Puranas that have survived into the modern era are ancient but represent "an amalgam of two somewhat different but never different separate oral literatures: the Brahmin tradition stemming from the reciters of the Vedas, the bardic poetry recited by Sutas, handed down in Kshatriya circles". The original Puranas comes from the priestly roots while the genealogies have the warrior and epic roots; these texts were collected for the "second time between the fourth and sixth centuries A. D. under the rule of the Gupta kings", a period of Hindu renaissance. However, the editing and expan
The Ganges, or Ganga, is a trans-boundary river of the Indian subcontinent which flows through the nations of India and Bangladesh. The 2,525 km river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India. After entering West Bengal, it divides into two rivers: the Padma River; the Hooghly, or Adi Ganga, flows through several districts of West Bengal and into the Bay of Bengal near Sagar Island. The other, the Padma flows into and through Bangladesh, joins the Meghna river which empties into the Bay of Bengal; the Ganges is one of the most sacred rivers to Hindus. It is a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs, it is worshipped in Hinduism and personified as the goddess Gaṅgā. It has been important with many former provincial or imperial capitals located on its banks; the Ganges is polluted. Pollution threatens not only humans, but more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.
The Ganges is a major source of global ocean plastic pollution. The levels of fecal coliform bacteria from human waste in the waters of the river near Varanasi are more than 100 times the Indian government's official limit; the Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far, due to rampant corruption, lack of will on behalf of the government and its bureaucracy, lack of technical expertise, poor environmental planning, lack of support from religious authorities. The main stream of Ganga begins at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the town of Devprayag in the Garhwal division of the Indian state of Uttarakhand; the Bhagirathi is considered to be the source in Hindu culture and mythology, although the Alaknanda is longer, therefore, hydrologically the source stream. The headwaters of the Alakananda are formed by snowmelt from peaks such as Nanda Devi and Kamet; the Bhagirathi rises at the foot of Gangotri Glacier, at Gomukh, at an elevation of 3,892 m, being mythologically referred to as, residing in the matted locks of Shiva, symbolically Tapovan, being a meadow of ethereal beauty at the feet of Mount Shivling, just 5 km away.
Although many small streams comprise the headwaters of Ganga, the six longest and their five confluences are considered sacred. The six headstreams are the Alaknanda, Nandakini, Pindar and Bhagirathi rivers; the five confluences, known as the Panch Prayag, are all along the Alaknanda. They are, in downstream order, where the Dhauliganga joins the Alaknanda. After flowing 250 km through its narrow Himalayan valley, Ganga emerges from the mountains at Rishikesh debouches onto the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimage town of Haridwar. At Haridwar, a dam diverts some of its waters into the Ganga Canal, which irrigates the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, whereas the river, whose course has been southwest until this point, now begins to flow southeast through the plains of northern India; the Ganga follows an 800 km arching course passing through the cities of Kannauj and Kanpur. Along the way it is joined by the Ramganga, which contributes an average annual flow of about 500 m3/s. Ganga joins the river Yamuna at the Triveni Sangam at a holy confluence in Hinduism.
At their confluence the Yamuna is larger than the Ganga, contributing about 2,950 m3/s, or about 58.5% of the combined flow. Now flowing east, the river meets the Tamsa River, which flows north from the Kaimur Range and contributes an average flow of about 190 m3/s. After the Tamsa the Gomti River joins; the Gomti contributes an average annual flow of about 234 m3/s. The Ghaghara River flowing south from the Himalayas of Nepal, joins; the Ghaghara, with its average annual flow of about 2,990 m3/s, is the largest tributary of the Ganges. After the Ghaghara confluence the Ganga is joined from the south by the Son River, contributing about 1,000 m3/s; the Gandaki River the Kosi River, join from the north flowing from Nepal, contributing about 1,654 m3/s and 2,166 m3/s, respectively. The Kosi is the third largest tributary of the Ganga, after the Yamuna; the Kosi merges into the Ganga near Kursela in Bihar. Along the way between Allahabad and Malda, West Bengal, the Ganga passes the towns of Chunar, Varanasi, Patna, Chapra, Ballia, Simaria and Saidpur.
At Bhagalpur, the river begins to flow south-southeast and at Pakur, it begins its attrition with the branching away of its first distributary, the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, which goes on to become the Hooghly River. Just before the border with Bangladesh the Farakka Barrage controls the flow of Ganga, diverting some of the water into a feeder canal linked to the Hooghly for the purpose of keeping it silt-free; the Hooghly River is formed by the confluence of the Bhagirathi River and Jalangi River at Nabadwip, Hooghly has a number of tributaries of its own. The largest is the Damoda