Chandragupta Maurya (340 BC – 298 BC) was the founder of the Mauryan Empire and the first emperor to unify India into one state. He ruled from 322 BC until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favour of his son Bindusara in 298 BC.
Chandragupta Maurya is a pivotal figure in the history of India. Prior to his consolidation of power, most of South Asia was ruled by small states, while the Nanda Dynasty dominated the Gangetic Plains. Chandragupta succeeded in conquering and subjugating almost all of the Indian subcontinent by the end of his reign.[nb 1] His empire extended from Bengaland Assam in the east, to Afghanistan and Balochistan, eastern and south-east Iran in the west, to Kashmir in the north, and to the Deccan Plateau in the south. It was the largest empire yet seen in Indian history.
After unifying India, Chandragupta and his chief advisor Chanakya passed a series of major economic and political reforms. He established a strong central administrationpatterned after Chanakya’s text on politics, the Arthashastra (English: Economics andPolitical Science). Mauryan India was characterised by an efficient and highly organised bureaucratic structure with a large civil service. Due to its unified structure, the empire developed a strong economy, with internal and external trade thriving and agriculture flourishing. In both art and architecture, the Mauryan empire constituted a landmark. There was a growth in culture which derived its inspiration from the Achaemenids and theHellenistic world. Chandragupta's reign was a time of great social and religious reform in India. Buddhism and Jainism became increasingly prominent.
In foreign Greek and Latin accounts, Chandragupta is known as Sandrokottos andAndrocottus. He became well known in the Hellenistic world for conquering Alexander the Great's easternmost satrapies, and for defeating the most powerful of Alexander's successors, Seleucus I Nicator, in battle. Chandragupta subsequently...