The Mauryan Empire History | History Of India | Ancient History-The Maurya dynasty (322–185 BC) was a powerful dynasty in ancient India. The Maurya dynasty ruled India for 137 years. The credit for its establishment is given to Chandragupta Maurya and his minister Chanakya (Kautilya).
Mauryan Empire Detailed History
The Mauryan Empire started from the plains of the Ganges river (today’s Bihar and Bengal) in the Magadha kingdom in the east. Its capital was Pataliputra (near today’s city of Patna). Chandragupta Maurya established this empire in 322 BC and rapidly developed his empire towards the west. He took advantage of the differences between several small regional kingdoms that had arisen after Alexander’s invasion. By 316 BCE, the Maurya dynasty had occupied the whole of North-Western India. The Maurya dynasty expanded on a large scale in the reign of the Chakravarti emperor Ashoka. Due to Emperor Ashoka, the Maurya Empire became famous all over the world by becoming the greatest and most powerful.
List of Mauryan Rulers
- Chandragupta Maurya – 322-298 BCE (24 years)
- Bindusara – 298-271 BCE (28 years)
- Ashoka – 269-232 BCE (37 years)
- Kunal – 232-228 BC (4 years)
- Dasharatha – 228-224 BC (4 years)
- Samprati – 224-215 BC (9 years)
- Shalisuk –215-202 BC (13 years old)
- Devvarman – 202-195 BC (7 years)
- Shatadhanvan – 195–187 BC (8 years)
- Brihadratha 187-185 BC (2 years)
- 322 BC Chandragupta Maurya, with the help of his guru Chanakya, had laid the foundation of the Maurya dynasty by defeating the last Nanda ruler Ghanananda on the battlefield.
- Chandragupta Maurya defeated the Nandas and established the Maurya Empire. This empire was the victory of the monarchical system over the republican system. Chanakya assisted in this work through a book called Arthashastra. Vishnugupta and Kautilya are his other names.
- Chandragupta Maurya (322 BC to 298 BC) – There is a dispute regarding the birth lineage of Chandragupta Maurya. There are conflicting accounts in Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain texts.
- Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Maurya dynasty. He was the first king of ancient India, who succeeded in bringing the whole of India under one kingdom. The reign of Chandragupta Maurya is considered to be from 323 BC to 298 BC. He ruled for about 25 years and thus his rule came to an end almost in 297 BC.
- Chandragupta liberated northwestern India from the slavery of Seleucus. Later both the rulers made a pact. As a result of this treaty, Seleucus married his daughter Helena to Chandragupta Maurya. It is mentioned by Appianus. After Chandragupta, his son Bindusara took over the empire. Bindusara was one of the most powerful kings of the Maurya Empire.
- After Chandragupta, the next Mauryan ruler was his son Bindusara. Bindusara ruled from about 298 BC to 272 BC. Bindusara is called by the Greeks “Amitraghata” which means – destroyer of enemies.
- Even during Bindusara’s time, Chanakya became the Prime Minister and gave guidance to Bindusara like Chandragupta. Bindusara expanded the Maurya Empire to the south. Bindusara is known as ‘the son of the father and the father of the son’, because he was the son of the famous and mighty ruler Chandragupta Maurya and the father of the great king Ashoka.
3. SAMRAT ASHOKA
- Ashoka was a great king of the Maurya Empire. His name is one of the great kings of India. He ruled for about 41 years. According to Buddhist tradition, Ashoka ascended the throne after killing his 91 brothers.
- Ashoka conquered Kalinga after 8 years of his coronation, but millions of people died in it, seeing that Ashok had a change of heart. He took up Buddhism. Apart from India, Emperor Ashoka had propagated Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, West Asia, Egypt and Greece as well. The national emblem of India ‘Ashoka Chakra’ and ‘Trimurti’ of lions have been taken from the Buddhist Stupa of Sarnath (Varanasi).
- Kunal was the son of Emperor Ashoka and Queen Padmavati. Ashok’s eldest son Kunal was considered the heir, but his stepmother blinded him due to jealousy. Kunal was the Viceroy of Taxila during the reign of his father. He ruled for about 8 years.
5. DASHRAT MAURYA
- He was the grandson of Emperor Ashoka. Dasharatha Maurya ruled from 232 to 224 BC. He continued the religious and social policies of Ashoka. After this, his cousin Samprati took the throne.
- He ruled the Maurya dynasty from 224 – 215 BC. He was the son of Kunal, the blind son of Ashoka, who ruled for 9 years.
- Shalisuk was the ruler of the Maurya dynasty, which ruled for about 13 years from 215-202 BC. He was the successor of Maurya at present. Whereas in the Yuga Purana section of the Gargi Samhita, he is mentioned as a quarrelsome, unrighteous ruler.
8. DEV VARAMAN
- After Shalisuk, the throne was taken over by his son Devvarman. It ruled in 202-195 BC. He ruled for seven years.
- Devvarman was succeeded by his successor, Shatadhannava, who took the throne. It ruled for about eight years (195-187 BC). They lost some of their territories during the war.
- He was the last ruler of the Maurya dynasty. He ruled from 187 BC to 185 BC. Brihadratha was killed by one of his ministers and established a new kingdom named Shunga.
Military System Of Mauryan Dynasty
The military system of the Maurya dynasty was divided into six committees. Each committee consisted of five military experts. There was a system of infantry, horse army, gaj army, chariot army and navy. The highest officer of the military management was called “Antapal”. According to Megasthenes, Chandragupta Maurya’s army consisted of 6 lakh foot, 50000 cavalry, 9000 elephants and 800 chariots.
To run his rule properly, Chandragupta Maurya divided the Maurya Empire into four provinces, which were called Chakras. These provinces were governed by a representative of the emperor. During the reign of Emperor Ashoka, the number of provinces had increased to five.
According to Megasthenes, the urban administration of the Maurya rule was divided into six committees. These 6 committees are as follows-
- First committee- Industry used to inspect the crafts.
- Second Committee- Oversees the foreigners.
- Third Committee – Census.
- Fourth Committee- Arrangement of trade commerce.
- Fifth Committee – Arrangement of sales, inspection.
- Sixth Committee- Sales tax system.
Fall of Mauryan Dynasty
- The main reason for the decline of the Maurya dynasty was the inept successors who came after Ashoka, The last ruler of this dynasty, ‘Brihadratha‘, was killed by Pushyamitra Shunga.
- Other reasons for the decline of this empire – excessive centralization of administration, lack of national consciousness, economic and cultural inequalities, tyranny of provincial rulers, high taxes.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS RELATED TO MAURYAN EMPIRE
|1||What was another name of Chanakya?||Vishnugupta|
|2||Who is compared to the Prince of Machiavelli?||Kalidasa’s “Malavikagnimitra”|
|3||Who was the ruler who killed his elder brother Susim to sit on the throne?||Ashok|
|4||Who was the wife of Ashoka who impressed him?||Karuwaki|
|5||Which Prakrit has been used uniformly by Ashoka in all his inscriptions?||Magadhi|
|6||Where did Bindusara send Ashoka to crush the rebels?||Takshshila|
|7||Who was also named Devan Piyadasi?||Mauryan Emperor Ashoka|
|8||Which is the oldest dynasty of India?||Maurya|
|9||Whose Prime Minister was Kautilya/Chanakya?||Chandra Gupta Mourya|
|10||Which religion was adopted by Ashoka the Great after the conquest of Kalinga?||Buddhist|
|11||Who mainly helped in the expansion of Chandragupta’s rule?||Chanakya|
|12||Which art and sculpture does Sanchi represent?||Buddhist|
|13||Which was the famous ruler of ancient India who adopted Jainism in the last days of his life?||Chandra Gupta Mourya|
|14||Who founded the Maurya Empire?||Chandra Gupta Mourya|
|15||What was the name of the currency prevalent in the Maurya Empire?||Gage|
|16||Who was the successor of Ashoka?||Rahul|
|17||Who is the author of Mudrarakshasa?||Visakhadatta|
|18||Who founded the state dynasty on the triple basis of tolerance, generosity and compassion?||Ashok|
|19||Which ruler conquered Malwa, Gujarat and Maharashtra for the first time?||Chandra Gupta Mourya|
|20||Who was the contemporary of “Arthashastra”?||Chandragupta|
|21||Which dynasty ruled Magadha after the Nanda dynasty?||Maurya|
|22||Which was the most famous center of education during the Maurya period?||Takshshila|
|23||What is the name of the book written by Megasthenes?||Indica|
|24||In whose book Chandragupta Maurya is specifically described?||Visakhadatta|
|25||Which is the source in which the description of which administration of Pataliputra is available?||Indica|
|26||What is the language used in the inscriptions of Ashoka?||Prakrit|
|27||Which ruler of the Maurya Empire conquered Lid?||Chandragupta|
|28||Into how many categories did Megasthenes divide Indian society?||Seven|
|29||Which aspect is particularly highlighted in Kautilya’s Arthashastra?||Political Life|
|30||Which of the following areas was not included in Ashoka’s empire?||Srilanka|
|31||Which ruler first made Pataliputra his capital?||Chndra Gupta Maurya|
|32||How was the palace of Chandragupta at Pataliputra built?||From Wood|
|33||Who used the Barabar Caves as a shelter?||By livelihood|
|34||Which inscription proves that Chandragupta’s influence extended to western India?||Junagadh inscription of Rudradaman|
|35||Which is the pillar in which Ashoka describes himself as the emperor of Magadha?||Bhabru Pillar|
|36||By whom was the first Indian Empire established?||By Chandragupta Maurya|
|37||Where is an inscription of Ashoka located in Uttaranchal?||In kalsi|
|38||Who built the Sanchi Stupa?||Ashoka|
|39||Who was the first Englishman to read the inscriptions of Ashoka?||James Prinsep|
|40||In which inscription of Ashoka is the victory of Kalinga war and Kshatriyas described?||4 inscriptions|
|41||In whose court did the famous Greek ambassador Megasthenes visit India?||Chandra Gupta Mourya|
|42||When did Chandragupta Maurya defeat Seleucus?||305 BC In|
|43||Which great king of India was always in touch with the public?||Ashok|
|44||Ashoka in 261 BC What did I do after conquering Kalinga?||Seeing the heavy bloodshed, abandoned the policy of war forever|
|45||In which language and script are most of the Ashokan inscriptions?||Natural and Brahmi|
|46||In which book the word “Vrishal” is used for Chandragupta Maurya?||Currency monster|
|47||In which state/country the personal name of Ashoka is found?||Masky|
|48||Srinagar was founded by which Mauryan ruler?||Ashok|
|49||In which text the word Arya is used for “Shudras”?||Economics|
|50||Ashoka, in the fourth year of his coronation, was influenced by the influence of “Negroth”, from whom did he take initiation of Buddhism?||Secret|
|51||Who called Pataliputra “Polibrotha”?||Megasthenes|
|52||Who was called Agronomai in the Mauryan period?||Road construction officer|
|53||What were the spies called during the Maurya period?||Sneaky man|
|54||Which Sri Lankan ruler tried to adapt himself to the ideals of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka?||Tiss|
|55||In the Jain texts there is a mention of Chandragupta Maurya’s adoption of Jainism?||Appendix|
|56||From which month did the Mauryan fiscal year begin?||Ashadh|
|57||What is the most important source to know about Ashoka?||Inscription|
|58||Which script was changed in South India during the time of Ashoka?||Brahmi|
|59||Ashoka’s inscription has also been found outside the Indian subcontinent in which country?||Afghanistan|
|60||Indians did not know the art of writing, whose trick is this?||Megasthenes|
|61||Who founded the Mauryan empire?||Chandragupta Maurya|
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