As mentioned earlier, Vasudeva, the Brahman min­ister of the last Shunga king, Devabhuti, master­minded the murder of his king and laid the foun­dation of the Kanva dynasty.

The Puranas mention the Kanvas as Sungabhrityas (servants of the Shungas) probably because they were employed by the Shunga kings. Because the Shunga Empire had shrunk by then to a very small area, the Kanvas probably controlled only Magadha.

Vasudeva ruled for nine years, from 72 to 63 BC and was succeeded by his son, Bhumimitra. According to the Puranas, Bhumimitra ruled for fourteen years and was succeeded by his son Narayana.

Narayana, who ruled from 49 BC to 37 bc (a period of 12 years) was succeeded by Susarman, his son. Susarman, the last ruler of the Kanva dynasty, ruled for ten years.


In 27 BC, Magadha was captured by the Andhras. Thus, the Kanva dynasty’s rule came to an end after a period of 45 years.