Great rulers ruled in ancient India. Those rulers united India and established powerful kingdoms. Ancient Indian rulers made India a center of art, literature, architecture, and knowledge all over the world.


  • Ajatashatru was the king of the Haryanka dynasty who ruled from 492BC to 460 BC in Magadha of ancient India.
  • He was contemporary of both Mahavira and Gautam Buddha.  Ajatashatru expanded his kingdom by defeating kings in wars (Vajji and Kosala kingdom) and established matrimonial relations(Lichchhavis Kingdom)
  • Two war weapons were developed during his reign (a) Mahasilakantaka: A weapon of war by which large stones were thrown at enemies. (b) Ratha-Musala: Moving chariot with swinging spiked maces on each side. 
  • Ajatashatru was the patronage of the 1st Buddhist council.

Chandragupta Maurya:

Great Rulers of Ancient India

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  • Chandragupta Maurya was a powerful and illustrious ruler of Ancient India.
  • His empire was spread from Bengal to Afghanistan.  He ruled from 321-297 BCE in ancient India.
  • The Maurya Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya defeating emperor Dhananad of the Nanda dynasty in the war. His teacher Kautilya (Chanakya) helped in establishing the Mauryan Empire. 
  • Chandragupta Maurya expanded his empire by winning the war, making matrimonial relations, and building friendship alliances.
  • His empire was spread across the entire Indian subcontinent from Bengal to Afghanistan but excluding present-day Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Odisha. 
  • He made Pataliputra(Present-day Patna) the center of administration and controlled the whole empire.
  •  Chandragupta Maurya gave the whole kingdom to his son Bindusara, and together with Bhadrabahu went to Shravanabelagola( present-day Karnataka state).  He died due to the Jain Practice of Sallekhana.

Ashoka, the Great: 

  • King Ashoka was a powerful ruler of the Maurya empire. Ashoka ruled in India from 268 BCE to 232 BCE.
  • His empire was spread over the entire Indian subcontinent except for South India(Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala). 
  • He embraced Buddhism after the Kalinga war in 262 BCE and propagated Buddhism in Asia( specially Srilanka and Central Asia).
  • He built many vihars and stupas of Buddhism such as the Mahabodhi temple complex and Sanchi stupas. 
  •  Ashoka also used many rock edicts and inscriptions to propagate Buddhism and held the 3rd Buddhist council during their reign. 
  • Ashoka, the great was given different titles such as " Devanampriya" and " Priyadarshi".


Great Rulers of Ancient India
Image sources: Alchetron

  • Samudragupta was a great Indian ruler and warrior.  He was considered " Napolean of India" due to their victory. 
  • Samudragupta was ruled from 335-380AD under the Gupta dynasty in ancient India. 
  • Samudragupta won the wars against Kings of Aryavart, kings of Dakshinapatha, and kings of frontiers kingdoms. 
  • He united the whole of ancient India and their victories mentioned in the Allahabad prasasti by his court poet Harisena.

Chandragupta II: 

  • Chandragupta II was a great emperor of the Gupta dynasty in Ancient India and also known as " Vikramaditya"
  • He ruled in ancient India from 375 CE to 415 CE. Chandragupta II  inherited the vast empire from his father Samudragupta
  • Chandragupta II carried forward his father's expansionist policy. He occupied areas in the foothills of the Himalayas(North) to Narmada river(South) and Indus river(West) to Bengal(East).
  • He defeated Shakas(Western Kshatrapa) and established matrimonial relations with the Vakataka kingdom and the Naga dynasty.


  • King Harshavardhan was a king of the Vardhan dynasty who ruled in ancient India from 606 AD to 647 AD.
  • His empire was spread in North and North-West India. Kannauj was his capital.
  • Chinese traveler Xuanzang visited his court and described his generosity and Justice during their reign.

Pulakeshin II: 

  • Pulakeshin II was the great ruler of the Chalukya dynasty of Vatapi( Presently Badami in Karnataka).
  •  His empire was spread in the Deccan. He ruled 610-642 AD.  
  • Pulakeshin II defeated Harshvardhan, king of the Vardhan dynasty at Narmada river. He also merged the kingdom of Dakshin Kaushal and Kalinga into his empire. 

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