Decline of Mauryan Empire

Decline of Maurya dynasty:

Decline of Mauryan Empire is one of the important historical case study. How such Vast kingdom periodically vanished? It is really interesting to know about. Mauryan Empire was the powerful Kingdom before Shunga dynasty. There were several kings of Maurya dynasty kept his kingdom free from enemies. Some of them was founder of Mauryan Empire that was Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara, Ashoka, etc.

Reasons for Decline of Mauryan Empire:

1) Lack of Proper Leader:

After those mighty emperors, kingdom has not get the great mighty kings. Moreover, in absence of proper leader it became difficult to handle the massive kingdom.

2) Sedentary Nature of Emperor and Army:

Ashoka was mighty king. After the battle of Kalinga, Emperor Ashoka accepted the Buddhist religion. Even after the follower of Buddhism nobody dared to attack on his province. That means, he didn’t forget how to fought a battle? Because, philosophy of Buddhism like peace, nonviolence is not proved useful when, after someone comes to battlefield.

After that, successors of him also followed Buddhist religion. As a result, subsequently after period of time, emperor along with army became idle. As a result, because the lack of practicing of weapons, the Mauryan Empire went towards destruction.

3) Disappointment in Bramhan Society:

Rituals performed during reign of Ashoka sculpted in stone
Image Credits: Vijay Tiwari

As Ashoka adopted tolerance policy & under it, he prohibited the birds and animal killing. As sacrifice was not allowed during ritual, but without sacrifice ritual cannot assumed as complete. So, Ashoka indirectly banned rituals. He was also opposed the unnecessary rituals performed by women.

It directly affected in loss to Bramhin society. Therefore, Bramhanical society gets disappointed.

4) Bankruptcy of Mauryan Empire:

During the reign of Ashoka, probably, he opened the royal treasury to donate Buddhist monks. Because, there are so many stupa (Tope), and monasteries called as “Viharas” specially built for Buddhist monks which proved the fact. Most of Viharas built within stone caves which was spendthrift.

Another reason for financial crisis was the large military of Kingdom. After death of Ashoka his successors unable to maintain its burden.

5) Tyrannous rule of Bureaucrats:

During the reign of Bindusara there were so many revolt happened in outlying provinces like Ujjain, Taxila, etc. Before Ashoka became Emperor, he broke the revolt and made peace in those provinces. He did this several times during the reign of Bindusara.

After the war of Kalinga, he was really worried about Tyrannous behaviour of bureaucrats. That’s why, he made strict rules against oppression. He sent the trustworthy officers to observe the administrators. Ashoka himself used to wandered in his own province to observe the people’s situation and bureaucratic behaviour.

However, these efforts of Ashoka didn’t affect the long distant regions. As a result, immediately after the death of Ashoka, those provinces gets separated from central imperial.

6) Improvement of war material in outside provinces:

Best Quality Sword during Mauryan Period
Image Credits: Public.Resource.Org, Source: Flickr

Gangetic basin was special for Magadha Empire. As because of its material advantage. As there was extensive forest, easily available War elephants along with other advantages. That region was really advantageous for rulers.

Due to massive expansion of kingdom connected to outside area through trading. Good quality Iron weapons and tools made those regions strong. Subsequently, for new kingdoms it was easy to establish their existence using material wealth of Magadha Empire. This was the prominent reason for decline of Mauryan Empire.

Sword During the Mauryan Period
Image Credits: US Army Heritage and Education Center / Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army, Source: Wikimedia

7) Ignoring the North Western region of Empire:

Ashoka was busy in spreading Buddhism in throughout the empire and abroad. Therefore, he didn’t give enough time to protect the distant regions from the Magadha.

I hope you like the post on reasons behind decline of Mauryan Empire.

Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia

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