Chandragupta Maurya – The First Samrat of Maurya Dynasty 340 BC – 298 BC

Chandragupta Maurya was born around 340 BC. There are a lot of ambiguities about his reign but it is supposed that he was the one who succeed the Nanda Dynasty. Parents of Chandragupta Maurya were killed at a very early age and he was bought up under the guidance of Chanakya, a very reputed scholar and a teacher at Takshila (Taxila) University.

Chandragupta Maurya - First Ruler of Maurya Dynasty - Successor of Dhananand

Chandragupta Maurya – First Ruler of Maurya Dynasty – Successor of Dhananand

 During 327 BC – 326 BC, Alexander was in his full flow, he was determined to capture the world overnight. He was able to conquer Persia (Iran). As a result this was a spot of botheration for Chanakya, who emphasized on uniting the Indian Powers against this foreign power of Alexander. He went on foot to Magadha to seek help from Dhana Nanda, the Samrat of Magadha at that time but was bullied out of the state.

Chanakya finally went back to Taxila and started training Chandragupta. Chanakya was also able to convince Porus (Parvateshwar) to lead a battle against Alexander. Porus lost this hard fought battle and Alexander spared him for his bravery. Chandragupta was deeply shaken by Alexander the Great. He learnt his lesson that the war is won by diplomacy and not just force.

In 321 BC, Chandragupta fought a number of Battle against the king of Magadha, Dhanananda and was eventually able to overthrow him. The last Nanda ruler was sent on exile and died in the following year (320 BC).

Samrat Chandragupta Maurya founded Mauryan Empire in 320 BC. Chankya became his prime minister and advisor. As per the expansion of the kingdom it extended from Kandhar in the west to Assam in the east, Hindukush in the north to Deccan Plateau in the south.

After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, Mauryas were able to defeat a Macedonian satrap of Alexander ruling in the north-western Indian Subcontinent. According to Megasthenes, a greek ambassador, when Seleucus Nicator, a Greek satrap, attempted to recapture parts of Punjab he was badly defeated, as a result Seleucus had to give away Afghanistan to Mauryan Empire. Also the daughter of Seleucus was married to Chandragupta.

Chandragupta Maurya Empire Map - Mauryan Empire around 298 BC

Chandragupta Maurya Empire Map – Mauryan Empire around 298 BC

Chandragupta ruled his empire according Jain traditions. The state was peace loving and honest. The kingdom was divided in three provinces. Viceroys to these provinces were from royal blood. Army had a good image of the king. Also one of the prime features of Chandragupta was innumerable spies in his militia. It is said that the king himself, sometimes, use to go in public as a spy.

Chandragupta Maurya Statue at Laxminarayan Temple, New Delhi

Chandragupta Maurya Statue at Laxminarayan Temple, New Delhi

Chandragupta ruled for 23 years and finally decided to retire, and pass on the throne to Bindusara, his eldest son. In the last few days of his life, Chandragupta went to Sravana Belgola, a Jain pilgrimage in Karnataka, India and eventually fasted to death in 36 days.

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