By Categories: History

Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Empire, was undoubtedly one of the Indian sub-continents greatest monarchs.

Not much is known about Chandragupta’s family ancestry but where most historians concur is that he was not born into considerable power and his rise to prominence began when he came under the tutorship of the legendary philosopher Chanakya, who took a young Chandragupta from his birthplace of Magadha (southern Bihar) to the Takshashila (north-west Pakisthan) and tutored him for around 8 years.

With Chanakya architecting his military and political strategies, Chandragupta initially established his rule in regions around Magadha (southern-Bihar) by 321 BCE and then looked towards expanding his dominance over the Nanda Empire. The Nanda Empire was – at the time – the dominant power in the subcontinent. The legends of its military capabilities were so awe-inspiring that it had forced a mutiny within the army of Alexander the Great when his soldiers fearfully refused to engage the Nandas in battle, forcing Alexander to retreat from the Indian sub-continent.

What followed was a bitter war of around a decade which ended with Chandragupta Maurya – guided by the strategies of Chanakya – defeating the Nandas and assuming control of the Nanda capital, Pataliputra. By 312 BC, having established is rule over most of north and north-west India, Chandragupta Maurya began to look further west towards the regions which had been conquered by Alexander of Macedonia.

The Wars That Were Won: Chandragupta Maurya’s Victory Over Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator was a member of the infamous Diadochi – a group of Alexander the Great’s generals and friends who battled of the control of his empire after his death in 323 BC.

Post the death of Alexander, Seleucus was one of the most powerful participants in the War of the Diadochi and managed to wrest control of the eastern territories of Alexander which also included regions in the Indus Valley.

After having established his dominance in the east, Seleucus engaged his major rival amongst the Diadochi, Antigonus, in the Babylonian War. The war ended in a decisive victory for Seleucus and Antigonus was forced to retreat westwards.

Soon after Seleucus, following the tradition of Greek kings founding cities in their names, constructed the city of Seleucia (within present day Iraq) and proclaimed himself king of the regions he controlled.

Split-up of Alexander’s empire after the War of the Diadochi. Seleucid Empire Marked in Green (<a href=
His numerous military victories over his rivals also earned him the epithet Seleucus the Victor amongst the Greeks and his subjects.

The Mauryan-Seleucid War

With his rule over northern India secure, Chandragupta and Chanakya saw the sudden death of Alexander and the disarray amongst his generals as on opportunity to expand their rule towards the west.

Alexander had left his Prefects in control of the regions he had conquered in the Indus Valley. Chandragupta is said to have taken control over the areas governed by four such Prefects – Nicanor, Phillip, Eudemus and Peithon, resulting in Mauryan control being established until the banks of the Indus River. Chandragupta’s conquest of these regions and his military prowess is vividly described by the Roman historian Marcus Junianus Justinus who went onto claim that the Mauryan king was even revered by ‘wild lions and elephants’.

News of Chandragupta’s western forays reached the ears of Seleucius, who decided that he needed to secure his eastern flank and thus began the Mauryan-Seleucid War.

The war is estimated to have begun in 305 BC, with Seleucius crossing the Indus and engaging Chandragupta’s forces in the Gandhara (north-west Pakisthan) region.

While no accounts of the actual battled fought exist today, the historical consensus is that Chandragupta Maurya emerged victorious against the Greek forces. Post the battle, Chandragupta continued control over all the regions he had conquered previously. Seleucius also ceded to Chandragupta his territories in Arachosia (Kandahar), Gedrosia (Balochisthan) and Gandhara. Around the same time, Chandragupta is said to have taken over the Hindu Kush, eastern Iran, Punjab and east Afghanistan – greatly growing his empire and expanding his victory of Seleucius to establish his dominance from modern-day Afghanistan to Bihar.

Chandragupta Maurya’s empire post his victory over Seleucus extending to Seleucid Persia (Maps of India)
Chandragupta Maurya’s empire post his victory over Seleucus extending to Seleucid Persia (Maps of India)

The Roman historian Appian of Alexandria also suggests that the terms of terms of peace negotiated by Seleucus with Chandragupta went beyond the ceding of Greek territories to the Indian monarch. Seleucus is also speculated to have married off his daughter to Chandragupta while receiving 500 war elephants in return – either as a gift or dowry.


Seleucus would put the 500 elephants he received from Chandragupta to good use soon after. The beasts were said to have played a decisive role in Seleucus’ final battle with his great rival Antigonos in the Battle of Ipsus. In the battle Seleucus inflicted a final defeat onto Antigonos and then added Antigonos’ regions into his own empire. With this victory, Seleucus was able to found what came to be known as the Seleucid Empire which ruled over large parts of the Mediterranean and the Middle East until its collapse in 63 BC.

Chandragupta Maurya, of course, had already established the Mauryan Empire by the time he came into conflict with Seleucus. Nevertheless, his victory in the Mauryan-Seleucid War and his tremendous expansions towards the west lifted him to exalted status in the region. He would soon turn his focus towards the south beyond the Vindhyas and into the Deccan. At the zenith of his reign, Chandragupta is said to have ruled over most of the Indian sub-continent.

Chandragupta Maurya’s Empire according to Jain texts (Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004), A History of India (4th ed.), <a href=
Chandragupta Maurya’s Empire according to Jain texts

Chandragupta’s legacy went beyond his military conquests as well.

The Mauryan Empire, which he founded from next to nothing, became one of the largest empires in the world at the time. Under the guidance of Chanakya – unquestionably one of the greatest philosophers of all time – Chandragupta implemented administrative systems which allowed trade and agriculture to flourish under his rule, starting off a period of great economic activity in the Indian subcontinent. Chanakya’s mastery of economics, finance, defense and statecraft also enabled Chandragupta to ensure peace, prosperity and security for his citizens under his rule. This was also a time when the region enjoyed great religious peace and harmony along with flourishing art and culture. More importantly, the systems and structures which Chandragupta put in place lived beyond him – allowing his successors Bhindusara and Ashoka to build on his achievements and take the Mauryan kingdom to greater heights.

For his towering military and administrative achievements, Chandragupta Maurya is today remembered across India as Chandragupta Maurya the Great – one of the few monarchs to have been bestowed the epithet.

Unfortunately, this great conquest of Chandragupta – and those of others like him – are almost forgotten today. An intellectual project, spearheaded by Leftist academia, ‘rationalised’ out the great achievements and victories of Indic monarchs and generals from our textbooks and consequently, from the minds of our people.

However, for India to truly become the power that it deserves to be, it is important for its citizens to remember its real history and to truly appreciate the greatness of some of its successes.


Share is Caring, Choose Your Platform!


and stay updated

Related Posts

Recent Posts

  • Darknet


    Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.

    The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.


    Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.

    These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.

    Pros :

    • Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
    • Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
    • Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
    • Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.


    • Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
    • Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
    • Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
    • Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.

    Artificial Intelligence


    AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.


    • Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
    • Recommendation systems: Companies like Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend movies and products to their users based on their browsing and purchase history.

    Pros :

    • Efficiency: AI systems can work continuously without getting tired or making errors, which can save time and resources.
    • Personalization: AI can help provide personalized recommendations and experiences for users.
    • Automation: AI can automate repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex tasks.


    • Job loss: AI has the potential to automate jobs previously performed by humans, leading to job loss and economic disruption.
    • Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
    • Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.