Maurya Dynasty

The Maurya Dynasty was an ancient Indian dynasty which originated in 322 BC from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Pataliputra, now known as Patna, was the capital of this empire. The Maurya Dynasty is one amongst the most potent dynasties ever flourished in India. Geographically, by area cover, no other dynasty in theIndian Subcontinent has been as magnificent as was the Maurya Empire. In fact, at its peak, the Maurya Empirewas the largest of all empires in the world which flourished in the same timeframe. The Maurya Empire is also believed to be one of the most populous empires of that time with a total population of about 55 million people.
Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire after overthrowing the Aryan kingdom of Nanda (Nanda Dynasty) in 322 BC. The background of Chandragupta Maurya is obscure. No historic evidence which can determine his background has yet been found. Some historians believe him to be the son of a Nanda prince and maid-servant Mura while the others believe him to have come from the Moriya Tribe of Peacock-tamers. After overthrowing the Nanda Dynasty, Chandragupta quickly expanded his kingdom westwards towards the central and western parts ofIndia. Disturbance amongst the local powers in the wake of the Alexander’s withdrawal westward gave him an advantage and he boosted his powers towards the central and western India. After defeating and conquering the straps left by the Alexander, Chandragupta conquered the whole of Northwestern India by the end of 320 BC. Later he was also successful in conquering the trans-Indus regions which were then under the Macedon rule. Thereafter he defeated the Greek invasions led by Selucus-1.
The Maurya Empire created a single and efficient system of finance, security and administration under which the trade, agriculture and other economic activities thrived and expanded in almost all portions of India. At its peak, theMaurya Empire stretched to the present day’s state of Assam in the east; beyond modern Pakistan including Balochistan, south-eastern parts of Iran and much of today’s Afghanistan in the west, and along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas in the north. Under the rule of Chandragupta and his successor Bindusara, the territory of this empire also extended to the central and southern parts of India excluding a small portion of unexplored tribal and forested regions near Kalinga (now Orissa). These areas were later conquered under the reign of the Ashoka, who succeeded the empire after Bindusara.
After the conquest of Kalinga, the Maurya Empire remained in peace and security for approximately half a century under the rule of Ashoka. In the reign of Ashoka, there existed a social harmony all across the empire.  This period also experienced a tremendous expansion in the field of science and knowledge. Also, this was a phase of religious transformation in India.
It is believed that Ashoka rejected several practical Arthashastra (Economic) polices for his inclination towards the teachings of Buddha, as a result of which the empire weakened and his successors were unable to cope with the disintegrating forces spread all across the empire. Later in 185 BC, the Maurya Empire collapsed with the murder of Brhadrata, the last Maurya emperor.

List of rulers from Maurya Dynasty

  • Chandra Gupta (321 BC to 298 BC)
  • Bindusara (298 BC to 272 BC)
  • Ashoka (304 BC to 232 BC)
  • Dasarath Maurya (232 BC to 224 BC)
  • Samprati Maurya (224 BC to 215 BC)
  • Salisuka Maurya (215BC to 202 BC)
  • Devavarman Maurya (202 BC to 195 BC)
  • Satadhanvan Maurya (195 BC to 187BC)
  • Brihadrata Maurya (197 BC to 185 BC)


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