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By Swami Harshananda

The Licchavis, often mentioned in Buddhist works and even by Kauṭilya in his Arthaśāstra, were a powerful tribe of kṣattriyas. They belonged to the Vasiṣṭha gotra (lineage). Their capital was at Vaiśāli or Vesāli. They were one of the partners in the Vajjian confederacy. Theirs was a republican form of Government.

Though they were good in trade and commerce and hence quite prosperous, they lived a hard and austere life. In course of time, luxury crept into their life making them a soft nation. Their civilization was of a high standard and refinement.

Candragupta, the first, and Samudragupta (5th century CE) had married Licchavi princesses. The Licchavis had ruled Nepal also for some time.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore