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Chanakya: facts, biography, history

Chanakya was an Indian teacher, economist and a political adviser. He played a key role in the establishment of the Maurya dynasty. He is also known as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta.

Chanakya (350 BC-283 BC)
  • Chanakya was born in ancient India, 350 BC. His birth place is a subject of controversy. Some believes he was born in Taxila and some says he was born in South India.
  • His father was Canin (or Chanak) and his mother was Canesvari. His name was derived from the name of his father.
  • Chanakya was a Brahmin and he got his education from the ancient university Takshashila. Later he also became a teacher there.
  • Though he was a Brahmin he had all the capability to rule a kingdom. He was not good looking but he had tremendous knowledge.
  • He began his search for a true king when Dhanananda, the king of the Nanda dynasty insulted him and thrown him out from the kings court. Chanakya understood that Magdha was in vulnearable state under the leadership of Dhanananda. His search for a powerful and true leader ended when he met Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta was a young boy (about 12-13 years old). Chanakya taught him about ruling and warfare. Later they ended the Nanda dynasty and established Maurya Dynasty. Chandragupta became the first king of Maurya Dynasty and Chandragupta became his prime minister.
  • Under the guidance of Chanakya, Maurya Empire became the largest empire of that time. 
  • Later Chanakya chose Bindusara, son of Chandragupta as the heir of Maurya Empire. He remained as the adviser of Bindusara.
  • Chanakya is the author of Arthashastra and Chanakya-Niti. Arthashastra is a book on Economics. The policies discussed in the book are still relevant. Chanakya-Niti is a collection of aphorisms. 
  • Chanakya was died in 283 BC. There are many versions of stories regarding the death of Chanakya. Some says that after his retirement he went to jungle and died there. Some says that he was died because of the conspiracy of Subandhu, a minister of the Bindusara’s court.
  • Many serials and films are made on the story of Chanakya. Such as Chanakya (TV series), Chanakya Chandragupta (Telugu Film). Many books are also written on the policies of Chanakya.

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