Ashoka the Great

  • Born to the Mauryan (ancient Indian) Imperial house.Lived from 304-232 BC.
  • Ashoka loved to hunt and was a warlike young man, the favourite of his father Bindusara.
  • When his father died, Ashoka killed all his brothers and went on a brutal rampage to expand the empire.
  • Later on he went in war to obtain Kalinga as his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya couldn’t acquire it.
  • It culminated in the slaughter by the Daya river, where more than 100,000 citizens were killed by his army.
  • Afterwards Ashoka was appalled at the carnage and vowed then to embrace Buddhism.
  • He was a changed man. The laws that followed were relatively just and he set up pillars with his edicts carved on them across India.
  • He even promoted vegetarianism and treated all his subjects as equals. By the time of his death, he ruled India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.
  • The National Emblem of India i.e. Four Lions was made by him only and he also constructed the famous Sanchi Stupa.

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