Chandragupta Mayura (B.C. 322 B.C. 298)

Chandragupta’s rise to greatness is indeed a romance in history. There are different views about his ancestry. According to Visakadatta, Chandragupta is called Maurya Putra, i.e. son of Maurya. The name of Maurya is the corrupted form of Mura, the mother of Chandragupta Maurya. Some writers view that Chandragupta came from the Moriya clan near Pataliputra. Some consider that he was the son of Peacock (Mura) rearer.
As soon as Chandragupta captured power, he had to face two main problems. He had to (1) liberate North West India from foreign rule and (2) put an end to the disorder caused due to the misrule of Dhana Nanda. He killed Dhana Nanda and took Pataliputra. It became the Mauryan capital. Chanakya helped him in his tasks.


Chanakya was a kingmaker. He was otherwise known as Kautilya. He was the root cause for the establishment of the Mauryan rule in India. He has written the Arthasastra. It is a book on Statecraft. He is compared to Machiavelli of Italy, a great political thinker, Chanakya served as prime minister during the reigns of Chandragupta and Bindusara.

Conquests of Chandragupta

Chandragupta checked the further advance of the Greeks in the North west. He defeated Seleukos Nikator, the Greek general of Alexander; in a battle in 305 B.C. Seleukos surrendered Khandahar, Herat, Kabul and Baluchistan to Chandragupta. He also gave his daughter, Helen, in marriage to Chandragupta. Chandragupta presented Seleukos with 500 elephants as a royal gift. Seleukos sent Megasthenes as Greek Ambassador to the Court of Chandragupta. Megasthenes wrote Indica. It is a very important source of information on the Mauryan administration of the city of Pataliputra. He conquered a number of North Indian Kingdoms. He also extended his empire up to Saurashtra in the West and the Deccan in the South.

Chandraguptas empire spread from Hindukush in the North West up to Bengal in the East. It stretched from the Himalayas in the North to the lands across the Vindhyas in the South, Chandragupta was undoubtedly one of the great rulers of ancient India.

Chandragupta was a follower of Jainism. During his last days, he renounced his kingdom. He came to Sravana Belgola near Mysore with a Jain monk called Bhadrabahu. The hill in which he lived until his death is called Chandragiri, There is also an ancient temple called Chandra Basti built in memory of Chandragupta Maurya He died in 298 B.C.


Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara He had the title Amitrakhada or slayer of foes. Bindusara appointed his eldest son Sumana as the Viceroy of Taxila and younger son Asoka as the Viceroy of Ujjain. During his rule two revolts took place in Taxila His elder son Sumana could not Suppress them. So Asoka was sent to suppress them. The rebellions were put down. Though Bindusara did not make any conquests he consolidated the Empire that he inherited from his father. He maintained good re with foreign rulers. The Greek and Egyptian rulers sent their ambassadors to Bindusara’s court.

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