Mauryan Empire : Ancient Indian History
The Mauryan period of ancient Indian history was initially started by the victory of northwest India by Alexander the Great, in 326 BC. This destabilized the political scenario among the Aryan states in the region, allowing the first great conqueror in Indian history. Here we are providing information related to Mauryan Empire in India which will be very helpful in the preparation of UPSC, State PSCs, SSC all other types of Government exams. We are proving here key feature of the different rulers during Mauryan Empire, Mauryan Administration, religion followed, Decline of Mauryan Empire and other important information for students who are also pursuing their school, graduate and post graduate courses.
Chandragupta Maurya (reigned 322-298 BCE), to rise to power. The acquisition of Magadha was the first step in establishing the new dynasty. Once the Ganges valley was under his control, Chandragupta moved to the north-west to exploit the power vacuum created by Alexander’s departure. Chandragupta was succeeded by his son, Bindusara (reigned 298-272 BCE). He continued his father’s conquests by extending Mauryan power down into central India.
- Bindusara was followed by his son, Ashoka. Asoka was one of the most remarkable rulers in the history of India. Ashoka renounced warfare after the bloody war against Kalinga and converted himself to Buddhism. After that he determined that in future he would reign in peace.
- Thereafter, he promoted the spread of Buddhism; and also sent missions abroad, to Sri Lanka and South East Asia countries.
- Here they laid the foundations for Buddhism’s later triumph as the predominant faith. He also sent missions to the Greek-speaking kingdoms to the west
- You can still see pillars which were erected by Ashoka which were inscribed with encouragements to his subjects to live in harmony with one another.
The king was the centre of administrative structure who would further select ministers and other officials of his kingdom. King was assisted by his Mantri parishad (council of ministers). Other important people in the administration are Yuvaraj (The crown prince), Purohita (The chief priest), Senapati (The commander in chief), Amatya (Civil servants and few other ministers). Maurya Dynasty had a very formidable army including 700 elephants, 1000 horses and 600,000 infantry. The Mauryan Dynasty was further divided into various departments with important officials:-
- Revenue department:- Important officials were Chief treasury andcollector general of revenue.
- Military department: The military department had six committees for coordinating navy, transport and provisions, foot-soldiers, horses, chariots and the last for elephants.
- Espionage Department: Mahamatyapasarpa used to control Gudhapurushas which ere considered as secret agents.
- Police department: In the Mauya Dynasty there were police head quarters in all the centers. They also had jails in every centers.
- Buddhism:- During the Maurya Dynasty, Buddhism flourished in the region. During this time, it spread as a major religion in the Indian Sub continent.
- Jainism:- This was an another religion which came into existence specially among the merchants of the Dynasty.
Decline of Mauryan Empire
- The decline of the Maurya Dynasty was started after the death of Ashoka, The huge empire started to decline due to various reasons. Few of the reasons are as below:-
- Weak rulers after Ashoka:- One main reason for the decline of Maurya Dynasty was due to weak rulers after the death of Ashoka.
- Religious policy of Ashoka: The policies like banning of animal sacrifices implemented by Ashoka antagonized the Brahmins of his empire.
- Expenditure on army: Maurya Dynasty had a very formidable army including 700 elephants, 1000 horses and 600,000 infantry. This huge army needed huge expenditure to maintain it.
- Rebellion from provincial rulers:-There were frequent rebellions from the provincial rulers against the empire.
- Neglect of North-West frontier: Ashoka did not pay attention to north west frontier which led to the numerous foreign invasions from the Greeks.
Here you can also go through details of other periods of Ancient Indian History which would be very helpful for various Government Exams:-