Friday, January 29, 2016


Kanishka I, or Kanishka the Great, was the emperor of the Kushan dynasty in 127–151 famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. A descendant of Kushan empire founder Kujula Kadphises, Kanishka came to rule an empire in Bactria extending from Turfan in the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain during the Golden Age of the Kushanas. The main capital of his empire was located at Puruṣapura in Gandhara (Peshawar in present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan), with two other major capitals at ancient Kapisa (present Bagram, Afghanistan) and Mathura, India. His conquests and patronage of Buddhism played an important role in the development of the Silk Road and the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism from Gandhara across the Karakoram Range to China.

Kanishka's era was used as a calendar reference by the Kushans and later by the Guptas in Mathura for about three centuries. Kanishka's era is now believed by many to have begun in 127 AD on the basis of Harry Falk's ground-breaking research. The actual source, however, gives 227 AD as Year One of a Kuṣâṇa century without mentioning Kanishka's name.

Kanishka's reputation in Buddhist tradition is based mainly that he convened the 4th Buddhist Council in Kashmir. Images of the Buddha based on 32 physical signs were made during his time.
He provided encouragement to both the Gandhara school of Greco-Buddhist Art and the Mathura school of Hindu art (An inescapable religious syncretism pervades Kushana rule). Kanishka personally seems to have embraced both Buddhism and the Persian cult of Mithra. His greatest contribution to Buddhist architecture was the Kanishka stupa at Peshawar, Pakistan.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chandragupta Maurya

The Maurya Empire, the ancient Indian dynasty, c.325-c.183 B.C by the Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynastyand rapidly expanded his power westwards across the central and western India, taking  the advantage of disruptions of the local powers in the wake of withdrawal westwards the Alexander the Great’s Hellenic armies.

The Maurya Empire was one of the largest empires of the world in its time. It was also the largest empire ever in the Indian subcontinent. 

Conquest of Magadha:

Chanakya encouraged Chandragupta Maurya and his army to take over the throne of Magadha. Using his intelligence network, Chandragupta gathered many young men from across Magadha and other provinces, men upset over the corrupt and oppressive rule of king Dhana, and took all the necessary resources for his army to fight a long serious of battle. 

The preparation to invade the Pataliputra, Maurya came up with the strategy. The battle was announced and Magadhan army was drawn from the city to the distant battlefield to engage Maurya’s forces. Maurya’s   general and spies meanwhile bribed the corrupt general of Nanda. He managed to create an atmosphere of civil war in the kingdom, which culminated in the death of heir to the throne. Chanakya managed to win over popular sentiment. Ultimately, Nanda resigned, handing the power to Chandragupta, and went into the exile and was never heard of again.

Chanakya also reiterated that choosing to resists would start the war that would severely affect the Magadha and destroy the city. Rakshasa accepted the Chanakya’s reasoning and Chandragupta Maurya was legitimately made the new king of the Magadha.

Bindusara was the son of the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his queen Durdhara. During his reign, the empire expanded southwards. Bindusara, just 22 years old inherited the large empire that considered of what is now, Northern, central and Eastern parts of India along with parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. Bindusara extended this empire to the southern part of India as far as what is now known as Karnataka.  He bought sixteen states under the Mauryan Empire and thus conquered almost the entire Indian peninsula. Bindusara didn’t conquer the friendly Dravidian Kingdoms of the Cholas, ruled by the king llamcetcenni, the Pandyas and Cheras. Apart from these southern states, Kalinga (modern Odisha) was the only kingdom in the Indian didn’t form the part of the Bindusara’s empire. It was later conquered by his son Ashoka, who was served as the Viceroy of Ujjaini during his father’s reign.

Chandragupta’s grandson Ashoka Vardhana Maurya, son of Bindusara was also known as the Asoka, Ashoka or the Ashoka the Great (reign 272-232 BCE).

Ashoka was followed for 50 years by the succession of weaker kings. Brihadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of the emperor Ashoka.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chandragupta I

Chandragupta I was the first of the imperial Gupta Empire Kings ruling over a territory much larger in size. To some historians, the Gupta Era was founded to mark the Commencement of the reign of Chandragupta I as the founder of the Gupta Empire. The New Era was adopted in due course by the subordinate ruler under the Guptas.

Chandragupta I was the son Ghatotkacha.

Chandragupta I ,is believed to rule from 320 A.D. to 335 A.D. He ascended to the throne in about 320 A.D. His religion was Hinduism.

It was by his conquests that he claimed the title of Maharajadhiraja or the King of Kings which signified the status of an emperor.

He was a very powerful personality and expanded his empire beyond boundaries. The conquests added several other regions within the domain of the Gupta Empire. He also entered into several matrimonial alliances with other powerful Kingdoms to enhance his position. He also married a Lichchavi Princess.

It is generally accepted that the Gupta Era of the Indian history started from the time of Chandragupta I.

After Chandragupta I, his son Samudragupta took control of the throne.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Ashoka Maurya commonly known as Ashoka and also as Ashoka the Great was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent from the circa 269 BCE to 232 BCE, grandson of Chandragupta. One of the India’s greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over the realm that stretched from the Hindu Kush Mountains in the west of Bengal in the East and covered the entire Indian subcontinent except parts of the present day Tamil Nadu and Kerela. The empire’s capital was the Pataliputra (in Magadha, present day-Bihar), with the provincial capitals at Taxila and Ujjain.

In about 260 BCE Ashoka waged a bitterly destructive war against the state of Kalinga. He conquered Kalinga, which none of his ancestors had done. He embraced Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga war, which he himself had waged out of the desire for the conquest.
He reflected on the war in Kalinga, which reportedly had resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations. Ashoka converted gradually to Buddhism beginning about the 263 BCE.
Ashoka is also referred to as Samraat Chakravartin Ashoka – the “Emperors Ashoka”.

Ashoka ruled for an estimated forty years. Legend states that during his cremation, his body burned for seven days and nights. After, the death of Ashoka, the Mauryan dynasty lasted just 50 more years until his empire stretched over almost the entire Indian subcontinent.

In the year 185 BCE, about 50 years after Ashoka’s death, the last Maurya ruler, Brihadratha, was assassinated by the commander-in- chief of the Mauryan armed forces, Pushyamitra Shunga, while he was taking the Guard of Honour his forces. Pushyamitra Shunga founded the Shunga dynasty (185 BCE-75 BCE) and ruled just the fragmented part of the Mauryan Empire. Many of the north-western territories of the Mauryan Empire became the Indo-Greek Kingdom.

King Ashoka, the 3rd monarch of the Indian Mauryan dynasty, is also considered as one of the most exemplary ruler ever lived.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Abu'l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar

Abu'l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar, popularly known as Akbar I ("the great"; 15 October 1542– 27 October 1605) and later Akbar the Great (was Mughal Emperor from 1556 until his death. He was the third and one of the greatest rulers of the Mughal Dynasty in India. Akbar succeeded his father,Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralized system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. In order to preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strived to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.

Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects.

Akbar’s Early Life:

Akbar was born to the second Mughal Emperor Humayun and his teenaged bride Hamida Banu Begum on October 14, 1542 in Sindh, now in Pakistan. Although his ancestors included both Genghis Khan and Timur (Timerlane), the family was on the run after losing Babur’s newly established empire.

Humayun would not regain northern India until 1555.

With his parents in exile in Persia, little Akbar was raised by an uncle in Afghanistan with help from the series of nursemaids.

Akbar takes Power:

In 1555, Humayun died just month after retaking Delhi. Akbar ascended the Mughal  throne at the age of 13 and become the King of Kings. His regent was Bayram Khan, his childhood guardian and an outstanding warrior/statesman.

The young emperor almost immediately lost Delhi once more to the Hindu leader Hemu. However, in November of 1556, Generals Bayram Khan and Khan Zaman I defeated Hemu’s much larger army at the 2nd Battle of Panipat. Hemu himself was shot through the eye as he rode into the battle atop an elephant; the Mughal army captured and executed him.

When he came of age 18, Akbar dismissed the increasingly overbearing Bayram Khan and took the direct control of the empire and army.  Bayram was ordered to make the hajj to Mecca; instead he started the rebellion against Akbar. The young emperor forces defeated Bayram’s rebels at Jalandhar in the Punjab, rather than executing the rebel leader, Akbar mercifully allowed his former regent another chance to go to Mecca. This time, Bayram Khan went.

Mughal India developed the strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was the patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature and he created the library of over 24,000 volumes.  Akbar’s courts at Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri became the centres of arts, letters, and learning.

Akbar’s reign significantly influenced the course of the Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled the size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms.

He was artisan, warrior, artist, armour, emperor, general inventor, animal trainer, technologist and theologian.

On 3rd October 1605, Akbar fell ill with an attack of dysentery, from which he never recovered. He is believed to have died on or about 27 october 1605, after which his body was buried at the mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra.