Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan empire, which was the mightiest in 3rd century BC, in Magadha, in Bihar of today. He is variously attributed to be the son of Mura, and as belonging to a tribe Moria that gave him his surname. Chandragupta overthrew the Nanda dynasty, annihilating the entire royal family, in 321 BC. Taking advantage of Alexander’s death, Chandragupta annexed areas that were under Greek supervision and strengthened his empire. He captured central and mid India, Bengal, Punjab extending it to Mysore in the south. His victory in the war with Seleucus Nicator, the Greek representative, dealt a death blow to Hellenic military resurgence. Chandragupta married Seleucus Nicator’s daughter to seal the peace accord. Chanakya (also called Vishnugupta and Kautilya), Chandraguta’s mentor and prime minister, was the strategist behind the throne. Chandragupta embraced Jainism, abdicated the throne to his son Bindusara and chose to live as a monk till his death in 298 BC.

The detailed accounts of Chandragupta’s times are known from “Indica” written by Megasthenes, the Greek envoy to his court. “Arthasastra’ (literally, science of logic) written by Chanakya provides insightful information on the administrative structure of the times.

Updated on 22nd November, 2015


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