Maurya Empire

The Mauryan empire in Indian history was reigned by the rulers from the Mauryan dynasty. According to the ancient history of India, the Mauryan empire happened to be quite strong and powerful in all respect including the political aspects and military aspects. The Mauryan empire had a duration of one hundred and thirty seven years from 322 BCE to 185 BCE.

The Mauryan empire in Indian history originated from the Magadha Kingdom that is located on the Indo- Gangetic plains. These are now form the major part of the states of West Bengal and Bihar. The capital city was at Patyliputra which is now near to where Patna is located. Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara and Ashoka the Great were the remarkable rulers from the Maurya dynasty.

Chandragupta Maurya was admirably successful to establish a strongly centralized state. The administrations was quite complex in comparison to those that prevailed in the states of India in the earlier times. According to Megasthenes, one of the renowned visitors and travelers to the country of India, Patuliputra, the capital city of the Mauryan Empire in Indian history, was walled up by wooden walls with as many as 570 towers and 64 gates.

Bindusara, the successor of Chandragupta Maurya, expanded the area of the state that he inherited from Chandragupta Maurya who reigned for a fairly long period of 24 years. The main targets of Bindusara were the regions in the southern parts of India. Because of the scarcity of informations about Bindusara from the ancient Indian history, little is known about this ruler from the Maurya dynasty. Bindusara's mother was Durdhara. According to the informations in Puranas the duration of the reign of Bindusara was for a period of 25 years, almost same as his father.

Ashoka was the next emperor after the demise of Bindusara. Ashoka was also known as Ashokabardhan Maurya. But in all the times, even till the present time, he is known as Ashoka the Great. H. G. Wells is of the opinion that Ashoka is the greatest among all of the kings not only in the history of India, but also in the history of the world. Ashoka would have remained the Ashokabardhan for the whole of his life if he would not have come to the noble realization that he had when he visited the battlefield where the Kalinga war was fought. Ashoka invaded Kalinga and became victorious claiming the lives of at least 100000 soldiers and civilians. Nearly ten thousand soldiers who were fighting for Ashoka, also lost their lives. Ashoka was overwhelmingly pained at the loss of so many lives.

The impact of this negative war affair was a tremendously positive one. Ashoka changed his mind and came to the resolution that he would not ever wage any war in future. The reality showed Ashoka to be even more generous. He started spreading the message of peace and non- violence. He not only kept himself stuck to the teachings of Gautama Buddha, but also spread Buddha's messages to the neighboring countries.

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