Chandergupta, the first Mauryan king and truly a conqueror,
was a son of the Potohar and a prince of Taxila, who having defeated the Greek
satrap in the Khyber mountains around 303 B.C. was crowned King at Taxila.
It was from here that he assembled an army largely constituted from the frontier
hill tribes and those from the river valleys that he marched into the Gangetic
plains, defeated the Hindu Nanda ruler and established his empire in Magadha
(present Bihar). He was not a Gangetic Indian, nor a Brahmin and his conquest
of the seat of power in heartland India was indeed, after Alexander, the
first invasion from the north-west. Ashoka was his grandson and inherited
Chandergupta?s empire on the north-west (much of it including portion of
upper Kabul valleys were ceded by the Greek satrap after his defeat and was
never conquered by Ashoka). Ashoka?s edicts in the north-western region of
Mauryan empire reveal his continuing affection and link with people of this
region whom he always regarded as his own.