Story of Emperor Ashoka was quite interesting as it contains both violence and peace. Today, I am going share the History of Ashoka The Great.
Introduction to History of Ashoka The Great:
Ashoka The Great was only king who gave up wars. Emperor Ashoka was grandson of Samrat Chandragupta (founder of Mauryan dynasty) and son of Bindusara.
He ruled almost all over Hindustan (Indian Subcontinent). He ruled the largest land of Hindustan in Ancient History.
Pataliputra was the main capital of his empire. To control such large Empire, he divided his region into provinces.
His empire had two provincial capitals Taxila and Ujjain.
Prosperous Kingdom of Kalinga:
Current Odisha and North of Andhra Pradesh region was known as Kalinga.
According to livehistoryindia.com, Capital of Kalinga was Tosali and it was very enriched. Kalinga was democratic kingdom in eastern side of Ashoka’s empire.
It was governed by Kalinga Raj elected by public in Kalinga. People of
Kalinga had strong unity and they had will to remain free.
Also, they had strong navy and enough forces to protect it from enemy.
Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara already tried to defeat Kalinga but failed to do so.
So, it was not easy to defeat such prosperous kingdom.
Ashoka Before became a Emperor:
Ashoka was very valiant, but his father Bindusara not like him because of his ugliness. Ashoka’s father always wanted his elder brother Susima should be the next Emperor.
In reign of Bindusara, there were many revolt happened. Bindusara always sent Ashoka, to suppress and calm down that revolt.
In war of succession, he killed 6 of his 99 brothers to became an Emperor.
Radha Gupta was chief minister in court of Bindusara and he was student of Chanakya.
After the death of his father, he captured the throne with help of Radha Gupta.
Obviously, Radha Gupta saw necessary qualities in Ashoka to became next king. Therefore, Radha Gupta supported Ashoka to became an Emperor.
According to some Buddhist scripts, Ashoka described as very cruel when he became King. I don’t think, he was that much cruel.
I think they had written such contrast to influence people and spread the Buddhism.
Importance of Kalinga Region:
Kalinga was very prosperous coastal region and important for import and export goods.
It was democratic region and they had very strong own army and Naval base.
War of Kalinga:
Chandragupta and Bindusar had very big army, war elephants. Both tried several times to occupy Kalinga but they could not succeed to do so.
When, Ashoka became emperor, at start, he was very ambitious and encouraged for conquest campaign.
Chandragupta (Ashoka’s grandfather) already occupied and spread his empire almost all over the Hindustan, excluding some regions like Kalinga.
Therefore, Ashoka came forward to conquer the Kalinga.