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Virudhaka (Sanskrit: Virūḍhaka, Pali: Viḍūḍabha) was a king of Kosala during the lifetime of the Buddha. Virudhaka was the son of Pasenadi.

King of Kosala
Father Pasenadi

Soon after usurping the prosperous kingdom built up by his father Bimbisara, the parricide Ajatashatru (ruled 491-461 BCE) went to war with his aged uncle Pasenadi, and gained complete control of Kashi. Just after this Prasenajit, like Bimbisara, was deposed by his son, and died. The new king, Virūḍhaka, then attacked and virtually annihilated the little autonomous tribe of Shakyas and Koliyas, in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal.[1]

Probably Virudhaka, like Ajatashatru of Magadha, had ambitions of empire, and wished to embark on a career of conquest after bringing the outlying peoples, who had paid loose homage to his father, more directly under the control of the centre; but his intentions were unfulfilled, for we hear no more of him except an unreliable legend that he was destroyed by a miracle soon after his massacre of Shakyas. A little later his kingdom was incorporated in Magadha.[1]



Virudhaka was the son and successor of Prasenajit (king of Kosala).[2] He killed his mother, invaded and destroyed the Sakya kingdom's bloodline, totally in vengeance, absolute rage upon finding out that his mother was a slave in reality, Shakyas had commited a treachery against, had decieved, heavily humiliated, insulted the Kosala Kingdom by deceitfully giving a slave, disguised as a dignified lady, Princess to his father, in honor of his kingdom, ancestors.[3]



  1. ^ a b A.L. Basham, The Wonders that was India, 1967, p. 47
  2. ^ Sastri 1988, p. 17.
  3. ^ Sen 1999, p. 107.