Best and Easy Notes on Mauryan Dynasty – covering all important points of Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara, Ashoka, Dasharatha, Samprati, Shakshuka, Devvarman and Brihadratha.
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The Maurya dynasty was founded by Chandragupta Maurya who seems to have belonged to an ordinary (a low caste) family.
Mauryan empire genealogy:
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- Chandragupta dethroned the last Nanda ruler Dhananand and occupied Patliputra in 322 BC with the help of Kautilya (Chanakya).
- He made Patliputra as Maurya capital.
- The machinations of Chanakya against Chandragupta’s enemies are described in detail in the Mudra rakshasa (written by Vishakhadatta).
- In 305 BC, Chandragupta Maurya defeated the Selecus Nikator (was a Macedonian Greek general who was one of the officers and successors of Alexander the great). It result to a treaty between Chandragupta Maurya and Selecus to make a boundary (the Hindukush) between their states.
- Magasthenese was a Greek ambassador sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by Selecus Nikator.
- Under Chandragupta Maurya, for the first time, the whole of Northern India was united.
- He built up a vast empire which included not only Bihar and substantial parts of Orissa and Bengal but also western and north-western India, and the Deccan. Aside from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and parts of north-eastern India, the Mauryas ruled over virtually the entire subcontinent.
- Chandragupta became a Jain and went to Chandragiri Hill, Sravanbelgola (Karnataka) with Bhadrabahu where he died by slow starvation.
- Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara.
- He was called as Amitrochates (or Amitragata) by the Greeks which means “Slayer of enemies”.
- Kautilya continued as prime minister during his period.
- He also patronised Ajivikas monks.
- The Greek ambassador “Dimachos” came during his time period.
- Bindusara extended the Mauryan empire as far as south. Sixteen states were brought under the empire by him by conquering the Indian Peninsula.
- Son of Bindusara and the greatest ruler of Mauryan empire.
- He usurped the throne after killing his 99 brothers and spared Tissa, the youngest one.
- Radhagupta, a minister of Bindusara helped him in fratricidal struggle.
- Ashoka fought the Kalinga war in 261 BC in 9th Years of his coronation. 100000 people were killed in this war and 150000 were taken prisoners. The Ashoka deeply moved by the massacre in this war. And his policy of Bherighosa (policy of physical occupation) was replaced by the policy of Dhammaghosa (policy of cultural conquest).
- He was converted to Buddhism. The third Buddhist council was held by him.
- Ashoka’s Name and its sources
|Ashoka||Maski minor rock edict|
|Devanampriyas Ashoka Rajas||Gurjara minor rock edict|
|Raja Ashoka||Nittur minor rock edict|
|Raja Ashoka Dewanampiya||Udegolum minor rock edict|
|Piyadassi Raja Magadh||Bhabru-Bairat minor rock edict|
|Piyadassi||Kandhar major rock edict|
|Ashoka Maurya||Rudradaman’s Junagarh rock edict|
- Devanampriya means “dear to the gods”, and Piyadasi means “good looking”
- The Rock Edict 13 depicted the accounts of the Kalinga war.
- There were39 inscriptions of Ashoka that can be classified into 4 categories –
- Major rock edicts
- Minor rock edicts
- Major pillar edicts
- Minor pillar edicts
- The last mauryan ruler was Brihadartha was assassinated in 185 BC by his commander in chief Pushyamitra Sunga.
Other important points of Mauryan Dynasty
- As per the Magasthenese book Indica, the society was divided into 7 classes during mauryan time period. These are – Philosophers, farmers, Soldiers, Herdsman, Artisans, Magistrates, Councilors.
- Lion capital of Sarnath was built by Ashoka. It was adopted as national Emblem of India on 26th January 1950.
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