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Rulers of a Great Dynasty - Mauryan Dynasty

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Mauryan, Ashoka, Bindusara, Chandragupt, Maryan Art.

In the fourth century BC, the kings of Nanda ruled the Magadha dynasty and this dynasty was the most powerful kingdom in the north. A Brahmin minister Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, trained a young man named Chandragupta from the Maurya family. Chandragupta organized his army on his own and overthrew Nanda in 322 BC. Therefore, Chandragupta Maurya is considered the first king and founder of the Maurya dynasty. His mother's name was the Mur, hence it was called Maurya in Sanskrit which means Mur's son, and its dynasty was called the Maurya dynasty.

Some important rulers of the Maurya Empire:

Chandragupta Maurya

(322–298 BC) According to scholars, Chandragupta Maurya defeated King Dhana Nand of Nanda and captured Pataliputra. First of all, it started its powers from the Indo-Gangetic plains and soon conquered the entire province of Punjab. Seleucus Nicator, the Greek officer of Alexander, also defeated him around 305 BC and a treaty was signed. According to this treaty, Seleucus Nicator gave the territory across the Indus to the Mauryan Empire, and in return, Chandragupta presented 500 elephants to Seleucus. It is believed that Chandragupta married the daughter of Seleucus to ensure this alliance; thus he took control of the Indus province, some of which is now in modern-day Afghanistan. Later Chandragupta Maurya went towards Central India and captured the northern province of the Narmada river. In addition to this treaty, Seleucus sent Magasthenes to the assembly of Chandragupta Maurya as a Greek envoy. Chandragupta adopted Jainism towards the end of his life and left the throne for his son Bindusara. Later Chandragupta, along with the Jain saints under the leadership of Bhadrabahu moved to Sravana Belgola near Mysore and starved himself to death as per Jain practice.


(297–272 BC) Chandragupta ruled for many years and after that, he left the throne for his son Bindusara. According to some scholars, Bindusara conquered the Deccan up to Mysore. A Tibet monk has confirmed that Bindusara conquered the land between the two seas which had 16 states. It can be said that the Mauryan dynasty extended far into Mysore and therefore included the whole of India but a small part of the forest areas near Kalinga and the states of the extreme south were excluded from the empire. Bindusara maintained his interest in Ajivik, a religious sect. Bindusara appointed his son Ashoka as the governor of Ujjayini who later suppressed the rebellion of Taxila.

The Great Ashoka

(268–232 BC) The Maurya Empire reached its peak under Ashoka's rule. For the first time, the entire subcontinent was under one imperial control. However, Ashoka's successor was a dispute. There was a gap of four years between Ashoka's sitting on the throne and his actual coronation. The most important event of Ashoka's rule was his victorious battle with Kalinga in 261 BC. There was no evidence of the real reasons for the war but there was a huge loss on both sides. Soon after the end of the war, Kalinga was associated with the Mauryan society and decided not to do any further war. Another most important result of the Kalinga war was Ashoka's adoption of Buddhism, influenced by the Buddhist monk Upagupta. While Ashoka maintained a large and powerful army for peace and power, he also gave economic protection to the propaganda boards of Buddhism. Ashoka sent propaganda boards of Buddhism to many regions, as well as he sent missionaries to Ceylon and Suvarnabhumi (Burma) and parts of Southeast Asia. Mahendra, Kunal, and Taluk were special among Ashoka's sons and Ashoka had two daughters Sanghamitra and Charumati.

The golden period of Indian art

The time between the Indus civilization and the Mauryan period is considered to be the dark era of Indian art. After this darkness, the Mauryan period emerged as the golden period of Indian art. The Mauryan kings made unprecedented contributions in the field of art. The remnants of Mauryan architecture can be divided into the following parts, which are as follows-

1. Stambh(Pillar)

The best specimens of Mauryan art are the pillars of Ashoka which he had made for the propagation of his religion. These pillars are located in different parts of the country, numbering about 20. This pillar is made of sandstone of Chunar. The height of each pillar is from 40 to 50 feet.

2. Caves

A new style was born under architecture in the Mauryan period. Its creator or creator was the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. Many caves were built by Emperor Ashoka. They were used as the residence of the monks as well as as a meeting place and house of worship.

3 Stupas

A stupa was an inverted bowl-shaped solid dome made of stone or bricks, in which the remains of the dead were kept. Stupas were built mainly to preserve the relics of Mahatma Buddha. Stupas were also used to preserve the memory of important events.

Later Maurya

(232 –184 BC) After the death of Ashoka in 232 BC, the Maurya Empire was divided into two parts. These two parts were Eastern and Western. Ashoka's son Kunal ruled the western part while the eastern part was ruled by Ashoka's grandson Brihadaratha. Brihadratha, the last Mauryan ruler, was killed by Pushyamitra Sunga in 184 B.C. Pushyamitra Sunga later established the Sunga dynasty 'dynasty.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Swati Sharma

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