The First Empire, Study Notes, Material

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

In this social studies study notes, we should read related to The First Empire, Important for the CTET Paper-1 & 2.

  1. Mauryan empire: (322 BCE-185 BCE)
  2. Chandra Gupta Maurya: (321-297 BC)
  3. Bindusara: (298-273 BC)
  4. Ashoka: (273-232 BC)
  5. Causes of Fall of Mauryan Empire

Mauryan Empire: (322 BCE-185 BCE)

The Mauryan empire was the first and one of the greatest empires on the Indian subcontinent. Chandra Gupta Maurya was the first ruler of the Gupta Empire. Arthsashtra of Kautilya provides detailed information about the Gupta Empire.

Chandra Gupta Maurya: (321-297 BC)

Chandra Gupta Maurya was the founder of the Maurya Dynasty. Chanakya was insulted by king Dhana Nanda and in turn, he convinced Chandragupta Maurya to conquer the kingdom of Magadha with the help of Chanakya or Kautilya, he overthrew the Nandas and established Maurya Dynasty. He made a vast empire which consists of Bihar, a good portion of Bengal, western and northwestern India, in Deccan (leaving Kerala Tamil Nadu, and parts of northern India) the Maurya ruled over the whole subcontinent.

  • He used the policy of marriage alliance, diplomacy, trickery, and war too to expand his kingdom.
  • He ruled for over 25 years and handed over his empire in favour of his son Bindusara.
  • He adopted Jainism in his last days and became a monk.

Bindusara: (298-273 BC)

Bindusara was the son of Chandra Gupta Maurya and his queen Durdhara. He is also known by the name Amitraghta by Greek writers.

  • Bindusara expanded his empire southward with the help of Chanakya as his advisor.
  • He brought 16 states of the Indian peninsula under his control but ignored the Chola kingdom.
  • He has friendly relations with the Syrian king Antiochus I and he received a Greek ambassador Daimachos from him.
  • He died in 272 BCE.

Ashoka: (273-232 BC)

He was the third and the greatest of all the Mauryan rulers. He occupied a high position not only in Indian history but also in world history. He ruled almost all of the Indian Subcontinent from 268-232 BCE.

  • On the death of his father, there was a power struggle for the throne.  Ashoka killed his siblings and the legitimate heir to the throne in his remorseless quest for power.
  • He was crowned king in 269 BCE. After ascending to the throne, Ashoka extended the borders of his Empire, including Assam in the East and Iran in the West.
  • He adopted Buddhism after the bloodshed war of Kalinga. He felt remorse for this bloodshed war of Kalinga and after then he adopted the Buddhism religion.
  • He ruled for 27 years according to Buddhist text.
  • He also propagated Buddhism religion to various parts of the country.
  • After his death, the disintegration of the Mauryan empire seemed to have set in immediately after Ashoka’s death.

Causes of Fall of Mauryan Empire:

 Following are the causes of the fall of the Maurya empire:

1. The weak successor of Ashoka was one of the main causes of the downfall of the Mauryan Empire.

2. Greek Invasions, financial crisis, etc.

3. As the empire was vast so it was difficult to administer the whole empire by the weak successor.

4. Soon after the death of Ashoka, the provinces became independent so it was also the main cause of the decline of the Maurya empire.

5. After 50 years of Ashoka’s death, the Mauryan king was killed by his general-in-chief Pushyamitra and he founded the Sunga dynasty.

This article tends to be beneficial for the following exams – REET, UPTET, CTET, Super TET, DSSSB, KVS, etc.

Suggested Read Books:

Serial No. Book Name Author Name
1. CTET Success Master Social Science/Studies Paper-2 for Class 6 to 8 2020 Arihant Experts
2. CTET & TETs Solved Papers – Paper II Teacher Selection for Class VI to VIII Social Studies/Science Arihant Experts


The First Empire, Study Notes, Material

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