What Were the Mauryan and Gupta Empires?

The Mauryan and Gupta Empires were two major ancient dynasties in India. They are very important in Indian history and existed between approximately 325 to 200 B.C. and A.D. 300 to 500, respectively.

During the reign of the Mauryan Empire, India expanded dramatically. The dynasty's founder, Chandragupta Maurya, united northeastern India, the Punjab and the Indus River valley. He then went on to gain power over the whole of northern India and the southern Deccan province. Chandragupta's successor, Ashoka, was strongly opposed to bloody conflict and made Buddhist principles of nonviolence the law across the kingdom. However, this approach damaged the army's efficiency, inviting revolts and invasions and leading to the fall of the Mauryan dynasty.

The Gupta Empire is often viewed as a great period for Indian culture. Science blossomed in particular and astronomers theorized that the Earth may spin on an axis, while mathematicians produced concepts such as pi, negative numbers and quadratic equations. Art also became very popular. India's two greatest epic poems, the "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata," were created and India's most famous playwright of all time, Kalidasa, thrived. Architecture became increasingly popular, too. Huge temples were built across the nation in the style of Buddhist and Hindu art. Buddhism's power grew considerably in this time. Monasteries became very wealthy and exerted a significant influence on politics. .