NCERT History Class 6 – Notes of Chapter 7: Ashoka The Emperor

  • More than 2300 years ago the Mauryas were a dynasty with three significant rulers Chandragupta who was the founder of empire, his son Bindusara, and Bindusara’s son, Ashoka.

    Hierarchy of Maurya's rulers

    Hierarchy of Maurya's Rulers

    Hierarchy of Maurya's rulers

  • Chandragupta has support from wise man Chanakya or Kautilya.

  • Many ideas of Chanakya were panned in book named Arthashastra.

  • Megasthenese was ambassador who was focused to the court of Chandragupta by the Greek ruler of West Asia named Seleucus Nicator.

  • Ashoka was one of the greatest rulers of Mauryas Empire on his orders instructions inscriptions were scratched on pillars, as well as on rock surfaces.

  • Most of Ashoka’s carvings were in Prakrit and were carved in to the Brahmi script.

Ruling the empire

  • Mauryas Empire was so large so different parts were ruled differently.

  • Pataliputra was the capital of emperor and officials were selected to collect taxes.

  • Kings were kept a watch on the executives and additional areas or provinces were ruled from a regional capital such as Taxila or Ujjain.

    Capital cities of Mauryas: Patliputra, Taxila and Ujjain

    Capital Cities of Mauryas

    Capital cities of Mauryas: Patliputra, Taxila and Ujjain

  • Governor’s handles local customs according to Royal kings guidelines.

Ashoka’s Dhamma

  • After winning Kalinga [current coastal Odisha] Ashoka had gave up war and started to implement Dhamma [prakrit term for Dharma]

  • Worship of a god, or performance of a sacrifice were not part of Ashoka’s Dhamma, he felt that it was his responsibility to provide guidance of his subjects through thoughts of Buddha.

  • So For this he has appointed officials known as the dhamma mahamatta who teach people about dhamma and went place to place for this.

    Map of Asoka Emperor

    MAp of Asoka Emperor

    Map of Asoka Emperor

  • Ashoka also figured his messages on rocks and pillars and told his dhamma mahamatta to read that message for all those who could not spoke it by themselves.

  • Apart from it he also had send his messengers to spread his ideas about dhamma to other lands, such as Syria, Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka.

Great Wall of China

The great wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The great wall of China

  • About 2400 years ago earlier then Mauryan Empire, Construction of This wall was began to protect the northern frontier of the empire from pastoral people.

  • Embellishment of wall was started by Qin Shi Huand by Qin dynasty rulers and it was extened by many states.

  • The wall was made over a period of 2000 years because the borders of the empire kept constructed by different dynasty.

Chapter 8: Vital Villages, Thriving Towns

  • Around 3000 years ago the use of iron produced in the subcontinent.

  • About 2300 years ago some of the initial works in Tamil, known as Sangam literature, were collected.

  • Because of texts were supposed to have been composed and compiled in assemblies (known as sangams) of poets that were held in the city of Madurai, they were called Sangam.

  • Jatakas was stories that were probably calm by ordinary people, and then written down and conserved by Buddhist monks.

  • We only just have any leftovers of palaces, markets, or of homes of ordinary people.

  • Perhaps some are yet to be exposed by archaeologists.

  • Another way of discovery out about primary capitals is from the balance sheet of sailors and travelers who visited them.

  • Crafts comprise particularly fine pottery, known as the Northern Black Polished Ware.

  • In the north part of the subcontinent it was usually found. It is typically black in colour, and has a fine sheen.

  • Many crafts people and wholesalers now shaped associations known as shrenis.

  • These shrenis of crafts persons provided training, procured raw material, and distributed the finished product. Shrenis also served as banks.

Chapter 9: Traders, Kings and Pilgrims

  • Sangam poems mention the muvendar which is a Tamil word that means three chiefs, used for the heads of three ruling families, the Cholas, Cheras, and Pandyas.

  • Around 2300 years ago they became powerful in south India.

  • Each of the three rulers had two centres of power:

    1. one inland

    2. one on the coast

  • Two cites were very important from those six, Puhar or Kaveripattinam, the port of the Cholas, and Madurai, the capital of the Pandyas.

  • The rulers did not collect regular taxes. Instead, they required and received gifts from the people.

  • A dynasty known as the Satavahanas became powerful in western India about 200 years later.

  • Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni was the most important ruler of the Satavahanas.

  • He and other Satavahana leaders were recognized as lords of the dakshinapatha, literally the route leading to the south.

Silk Route & Kushans

  • Some people from China who went to cold lands on foot, horseback, and on camels, carried silk with them. The paths they shadowed came to be known as the Silk Route.

  • Some kings tense to control large helpings of the route.

  • This was since they could income from taxes, tributes and gifts that were transported by buyers travelling along the route.

  • They often endangered the dealers who passed through their empires from occurrences by robbers.

  • The best-known of the rulers who controlled the Silk Route were the Kushanas, who ruled over central Asia and north-west India around 2000 years ago.

  • Their two chief centres of power were Peshawar and Mathura. Taxila was also comprised in their kingdom.

  • Throughout their rule, a division of the Silk Route lengthy from Central Asia down to the seaports at the mouth of the river Indus, from where silk was transported westwards to the Roman Empire.

  • The Kushanas brought gold coins. These were secondhand by dealers sideways the Silk Route.

Spread of Buddhism

  • The most celebrated Kushana ruler was Kanishka, who ruled about 1900 years ago.

  • He prepared a Buddhist council, where academics met and debated important substances.

  • Ashvaghosha, a poet who composed a biography of the Buddha, the Buddhacharita, existed in his court.

  • He and other Buddhist researchers now created writing in Sanskrit.

  • A new form of Buddhism, known as Mahayana Buddhism, now developed.

  • Here it got 2 distinct features:

    1. earlier, the Buddha’s presence was shown in sculpture by using certain signs. Now statues are made. From Mathura and Taxila.

    2. regarded with belief inBodhisattvas. Earlier once they attained Enlightenment they could live in complete isolation and meditate in peace.

  • Now they continued in the world to teach and help other people and this type of worship prevailed throughout Central Asia, China, and later to Korea and Japan.

  • Dealers probably halted in cave abbeys during their travels.

  • The older form of Buddhism, known as Theravada Buddhism was more general in areas like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and other parts of Southeast Asia as well as Indonesia.

  • About 1600 years ago the well-known Chinese Buddhist travelers were FaXian, who came to the subcontinent, Xuan Zang came about 1400 years ago and I-Qing, who came about 50 years after Xuan Zang.


  • The worship of certain idols, which became a dominant feature of later Hinduism, increased in position were the generations of additional religion

  • Anyone either rich or poor, appropriate to the so-called ‘high’ or ‘low’ castes, man or woman, are able to follow the path of Bhakti.

  • In the Bhagavad Gita the idea of Bhakti is current.

  • Those who shadowed the system of Bhakti highlighted devoutness and separate worship of a god or goddess, rather than the presentation of decorative sacrifices and once this idea increased acceptance, artists made beautiful images of these deities.

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