THE MAURYAN EMPIRE (321 BC – 289 BC)
CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA (322-295 B.C)
➮ The Mauryan dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya with the help of Chanakya or Kautilya.
➮ Brahmanical texts say he was born of Mura, sudra women in the court of the Nandas.
➮ An earlier Buddhist tradition says he belonged to the Moriya Kshatriya clan.
➮ He fought Seleucus in 305 B.C.
➮ Seleucus surrendered a large territory including Paropanisadai (Kabul), Aria (Herat), Arachosia (Gandhara) and Gedrosia (Baluchistan), in return for 500 elephants.
➮ According to Jaina tradition, Chandragupta was converted to Jainism.
➮ Chandragupta Maurya passed his last days at Sravanbelagola near Mysore. Where he died by starvation (Sallekhana/Santhara) ritual of Jains.
➮ Seleucus sent an ambassador Megasthenes to the Mauryan court.
➮ Megasthenes wrote the text ‘Indica’
BINDUSARA (298-272 B.C.)
➮ Bindusara succeeded Chandragupta Maurya.
➮ In Jain literature, he has been called ‘Simhasen’.
➮ Antiochus sent Deimachus as an ambassador to Bindusara’s court.
➮ Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt sent Dionysius as ambassador.
➮ He was known as Amitraghata. He was also known as Amitrochates.
➮ He sent his son Ashoka to quell a rebellion in Taxila.
➮ He was a follower of the Ajivika sect
➮ The Syrian ambassador Deimachus was sent to his court.
ASHOKA (273-232 B.C.)
➮ Ashoka (273-232 B.C.) succeeded Bindusara.
➮ He was holding viceroyalty of Taxila and Ujjain during his father’s lifetime.
➮ He fought the Kalinga war in 260 B.C. in the 9th year of his reign.
➮ Under Ashoka, the empire reached its zenith. And in history, for the first time, the entire Indian sub-continent came under a single umbrella (except extreme Southern India).
➮ Ashoka banned animal sacrifice and regulated the slaughter of animals for food as per 1st major rock edict.
➮ The 13th rock edict mentions the Kalinga war.
➮ According to his Maski and Gurjara inscriptions he was known as Devanam Priya Priyadarshi.
➮ He was converted to Buddhism by Nigrodh.
➮ Ashoka sent peace missionaries inside India as well as abroad.
Location of Major Rock Edicts
(1) Kalshi (Dehradun) (2) Manshera (Hazara dist. Pakistan) (3) Shahbazgarhi (Peshawar) (4) Girnar (Gujarat) (5) Sopara (Near Mumbai) (6) Dhauli (Odisha) (7) Jaugada (Odisha) (8) Maski (Andhra Pradesh) (9) Yerragudi (Andhra Pradesh)
Location of Minor Rock Edicts
(1) Bairat (2) Rupnath (3) Sahsaram (4) Rupnath (5) Brahmagiri (6) Gavimath (7) Jatinga Rameshwar (8) Maski (9) Palkigundu (10) Rajula-Mandagiri (11) Suvarnagiri (12) Yerragudi (13) Gurjara (14) Ahraura
Location of Pillar Edicts
(1) Allahabad (2) Delhi-Topra (3) Delhi-Meerut (4) Nigalisagar (5) Lauriya-Araraj (6) Lauriya- Nandangarh (7) Rampurva