Maurya was a prominent leader who took over the Magadha throne. He won
the military support and allegiance of many
of the people and
with them, he was able to gang up and over throw Nanda
and take control of the throne. He received the support from two governors,
and Porus, who helped him gained military support from Gang-Sangha Republics
along the northern edge of India. Once Maurya took control of
the Magadha throne, he started a successful military campaign that reached
the Bombay area.
Bindusara was given the throne by his father,
Chandragupta, who became a devout Janist after 25 years of ruling. During
Bindusara's reign (296-273 BC)
expanded the empire to include the Indian Peninsula, as far as Mysore.
During his reign, he conquered and assimilated 16 smaller kingdoms. His
empire stretched from sea to sea, and almost encompassed the entire subcontinent
of India. The only areas that he did not conquer were the southern tip
of India, because these kingdoms were affable and friendly, and Kalinga,
which was a major stepping stone.
Bindusara handed the throne
down to his son, Asoka, who became the most famous Mauryan Emperor. Asoka
stretched the Mauryan Empire to it's farthest extent. The empire, under
Asoka, took over territory that was abandoned by Alexander The Great and,
later on, made a treaty with Selecids that secured the borders of his empire.
Asoka undertook a large campaign against Kalinga, the area his father did
not take over. After a long, grisly war, Asoka finally defeated Kalinga.
During the subjugating of Kalinga in 256 BC, he was so horrified at
the death and destruction that he saw, he decided to change his ways. He
converted to Buddhism and from then on, condemned war. He spent the rest
of his life preaching buddhism and love. Asoka was the last great king to
rule the Mauryan Empire, after his death, a succession of weak kings who
could not manage the extensive empire lead to the decline of the power. A
few small kingdoms emerged from what
was once the
great Mauryan Empire.
Map of Mauryan Empire