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Mauryan Empire

    Mauryan Dynasty (322–185 BCE)

After conquering the Punjab and Sindh region, Alexander went back. But in 323 BC, Alexander died in Babylon, so his Empire fragmented, and local rulers declared their independence.  The Greeks generals Eudemus and Peithon started to rule the subcontinent conquered areas (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and the northern regions). In 316 BC Chandragupta Maurya, with the help of Chanakya, defeated the Macedonians, and later on, they (Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya) established the Mauryan Dynasty by defeating the King Dhana of the Nanda Empire.

The Mauryan Dynasty
Map of Mauryan Empire

The Maurya Dynasty (322–185 BCE) was a politically and militarily strong government in ancient India. Pataliputra (today Patna) was the Empire’s capital city. The Mauryan Dynasty started gradually spreading their influence over central and western India. At its peak, the Empire reached the northern borders of the Himalaya Mountains and Assam in the east. It included modern-day Pakistan and vast sections of Afghanistan to the west, including the modern-day provinces Herat and Kandahar, and Baluchistan. The Mauryan Kingdom was the most powerful Empire that ever ruled the Indian subcontinent. It started to shrink after Ashoka’s fifty-year reign ended, and it finally fell apart in 185 B.C.E. when the Sunga Dynasty rose to power in Magadha

Under Chandragupta and his descendants internal and external business, agriculture, and economic activities flourished and spread across India. Chandragupta devised an efficient financial, administrative, and security system. The Mauryan Dynasty is one of significant times in Indian history. Under Ashoka king, the Dynasty enjoyed a half-century of calmness after the Kalinga War. India was a prosperous, stable empire with significant economic and military might. Its political and economic power extended Western and Central Asia, as well as Europe.

Mauryan kings

The list of Mauryan kings is below. Among all Mauryan kings, the Ashoka was greatest in the Mauryan Dynasty.

Dates of Mauryan Dynasty 
Emperor Reign Start  end
Chandragupta Maurya        322 B.C.E. 298 B.C.E.
Bindusara                                 297 B.C.E. 272 B.C.E.
Asoka The Great      273 B.C.E. 232 B.C.E.
Dasaratha   232 B.C.E. 224 B.C.E.
Samprati    224 B.C.E. 215 B.C.E.
Salisuka   215 B.C.E. 202 B.C.E
Devavarman     202 B.C.E. 195 B.C.E.
Satadhanvan      195 B.C.E. 187 B.C.E.
Brhadrata 187 B.C.E. 185 B.C.E.

Ashoka the Great Empire Era

In Mauryan Empire as a young prince, Ashoka the great  was a superb commander in Ujjain and Taxila that destroyed the rebellion. He established his dominance in southern and western India as an ambitious and strong ruler. However, the critical event in his life was his conquest of Kalinga. Ashoka’s army crushed the Kalinga’s king army  and an estimated 100,000 soldiers and civilians, including more than 10,000 Ashka’s men, died in a wild conflict.  Thousands of people were displaced due to this war. 

Ashoka started to feel guilt when he observed the devastation himself and wept, “What I have done?” When Kalinga’s conquest finished, Ashoka the great accepted Gautama Buddha’s teachings and rejected war and bloodshed in his empire. He developed good ties with the neighbors following the no-war policy war to obtain land. Ashoka adopted ahimsa teachings by prohibiting hunting and violence and banning forced labor. As a big, powerful Army, Ashoka the great developed diplomatic connections with the other empire, states throughout Asia and Europe to preserve peace and retain rule and support Buddhist missionaries. Over 40 years of Governance, Ashoka is believed to be one of India’s best-known rulers, with harmony and wealth. In modern India, he remains an idealized inspiring figure.

Mauryan Dynasty Administration

The King at that time, was the Head of the State, and the army, executive, judiciary, and legislative authorities were under his command.  The chief minister, the guardian, the general, and the other ministries took guidance from the council. The Kingdom was split into four provinces, frequently ruled by royal princes or governors. In addition, the comparison of regions made with each other and districts, village administration, and towns.   The King used this comparison for bureaucracy performance. The pillar was clearly defined in the civil services; those in the highest ranks were far apart from the lower classes. 

Nearly all aspects of social life were controlled, looked after, and maintained in the departments, including manufacturing, industrial art, general trade and commerce, births and deaths, trade taxes, land and agriculture, irrigation, forests, mines, metal foundries, roads, and public buildings. The top officials were required to conduct inspections to verify the proper execution of the bureaucracy. The Empire also developed an extensive intelligence network and a large army. The majority of the people were attached with farming and then military. Soldiers were just obliged to battle and could not do any other job.  

Mauryan Economy

Made during Mauryan Dynasty

Political unity and military stability, with increasing agricultural production, for the first time facilitated a unified economic system and expanded trade in South Asia. Chandragupta Maurya introduced a single currency across India and delivered justice and security for businesses, farmers, and traders via a network of provincial rulers, civil service, and administrators. Roads and river crossings were taxed, commodities sold inside the Kingdom, and taxes of imports and exports. The state determined the wholesale price of the products, weights, and measurements examined. The gold, bronze, and copper coins were prominent. 

 The major routes were highly maintained and carefully controlled that went across the whole Kingdom to the west Greek world.

Religion

The Mauryan dynasty
Buddha statue

Emperor Chandragupta Maurya became the first great Indian King to start the most outstanding levels of religious reform when he adopted Jainism, a religious movement that Orthodox Hindi priests frequently visited. His successor, Emperor Bindusara, maintained the heritage of the Hindu and separated himself from Jain and Buddhism.  Later on, Jainism was accepted by Samprati, the grandson of Ashoka. But Ashoka took up Buddhism in the post-Kalinga war, and he rejected expansion and aggressiveness. 

Decline of Mauryan Empire

After Ashoka the great the Kingdom started to shrink.  All kings after Ashoka could not hold the dynasty. So the last King Brhadrata was weak who got assassinated, and the Murayan empire ended. 

For Mcqs of Mauryan Empire Click Here 

 

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