Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chandragupta Maurya

The Maurya Empire, the ancient Indian dynasty, c.325-c.183 B.C by the Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynastyand rapidly expanded his power westwards across the central and western India, taking  the advantage of disruptions of the local powers in the wake of withdrawal westwards the Alexander the Great’s Hellenic armies.

The Maurya Empire was one of the largest empires of the world in its time. It was also the largest empire ever in the Indian subcontinent.

Conquest of Magadha:

Chanakya encouraged Chandragupta Maurya and his army to take over the throne of Magadha. Using his intelligence network, Chandragupta gathered many young men from across Magadha and other provinces, men upset over the corrupt and oppressive rule of king Dhana, and took all the necessary resources for his army to fight a long serious of battle.

The preparation to invade the Pataliputra, Maurya came up with the strategy. The battle was announced and Magadhan army was drawn from the city to the distant battlefield to engage Maurya’s forces. Maurya’s   general and spies meanwhile bribed the corrupt general of Nanda. He managed to create an atmosphere of civil war in the kingdom, which culminated in the death of heir to the throne. Chanakya managed to win over popular sentiment. Ultimately, Nanda resigned, handing the power to Chandragupta, and went into the exile and was never heard of again.

Chanakya also reiterated that choosing to resists would start the war that would severely affect the Magadha and destroy the city. Rakshasa accepted the Chanakya’s reasoning and Chandragupta Maurya was legitimately made the new king of the Magadha.

Bindusara was the son of the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his queen Durdhara. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. Bindusara, just 22 years old inherited the large empire that considered of what is now, Northern, central and Eastern parts of India along with parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Bindusara extended this empire to the southern part of India as far as what is now known as Karnataka.  He bought sixteen states under the Mauryan Empire and thus conquered almost the entire Indian peninsula. Bindusara didn’t conquer the friendly Dravidian Kingdoms of the Cholas, ruled by the king llamcetcenni, the Pandyas and Cheras. Apart from these southern states, Kalinga (modern Odisha) was the only kingdom in the Indian didn’t form the part of the Bindusara’s empire. It was later conquered by his son Ashoka, who was served as the Viceroy of Ujjaini during his father’s reign.

Chandragupta’s grandson Ashoka Vardhana Maurya, son of Bindusara was also known as the Asoka, Ashoka or the Ashoka the Great (reign 272-232 BCE).

Ashoka was followed for 50 years by the succession of weaker kings. Brihadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of the emperor Ashoka.

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