In news– Recently, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that Chandragupta Maurya had defeated Alexander of Macedon in battle and yet, it is the latter whom historians have chosen to call “great”. In Indian history, ‘great’ has been used for the emperors Ashoka, Rajaraja and Rajendra Chola, and Akbar, among others.
About Chandragupta Maurya–
- He was the founder of the Mauryan empire.
- He was born in 340 BC in Pataliputra.
- The only definite inscriptional reference to Chandragupta history is found in the Junagarh inscription from the 2nd century CE.
- He was also known to the Greeks as Sandrakottos or Sandrokottos.
- He was the first emperor to unify most of India under one administration.
- He is credited with saving the country from maladministration from the Nanda dynasty and freeing it from foreign domination.
- Expanding his empire to the borders of Persia, in 305 he defeated an invasion by Seleucus I Nicator, a Greek contender for control of Alexander’s Asian empire.
- With the help of Kautilya/Chanakya, Chandragupta laid the foundations of an extensive and efficient system of centralised administration and tax-collection that formed the bases of his empire.
- Chandragupta was influenced to accept Jainism by the sage Bhadrabahu I, who predicted the onset of a 12-year famine.
- He left to spend his last days in the service of Bhadrabahu at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, where Chandragupta fasted to death(Sallekhana).
- He was born in 356 BC at Pella in ancient Greece, and succeeded his father, king Phillip II, to the throne at the age of 20.
- In 327 BC, Alexander crossed the Indus, the farthest frontier of the old Persian empire, and began his Indian campaign that lasted about two years.
- In 330 BC, he defeated Darius III in the decisive battle of Gaugamela, and after a long campaign in Bactria in the region of the Amu Darya north of today’s Afghanistan, he crossed the Hindu Kush and entered the Kabul valley.
- In the battle of Hydaspes that followed, Alexander won, but following his famous interview with Porus, he was impressed enough to return to the captive Porus his kingdom, and to leave him in charge of Punjab when the Greek army ultimately retreated.
- After the defeat of Porus, Alexander wished to march on into the heartland of the Gangetic basin — but upon reaching the river Beas, his generals refused to go further.
- The Magadha ruler during these times was Dhanananda (329-322/321 BCE) of the Nanda Dynasty, known to the Greeks as Xandrames or Agrammes.
- Alexander was forced to turn back and he reached Susa in Persia in 324 BC, and in the following year, died in the ancient city of Babylon, to the south of today’s Baghdad.