Bindusara Maurya

Bindusara Maurya was the second emperor in the Maurya dynasty

Who was Bindusara?

Bindusara, also known as Amitraghata which means ‘Slayer of enemies’ in sanskrit. He was the second emperor in the Maurya dynasty. Bindusara was the father of the great Mauryan emperor Ashoka and the son of the founder of the mauryan dynasty Chandragupta Maurya.

bindusara Maurya
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The detailed information about Bindara have been mentioned in ancient Indian literature and Mahavamsa. As per Ashokavadana, Bindusara was the son of Nanda dynasty and the descendant of Bimbisara (king of Magadha). According to the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka, Dipavamsa, he was the son of Shishunaga, the founder of Magadha empire. According to a jain writer Hemachandra in 12th century, Durdhara was the mother of Bindusara.

Quick Facts

  • Full Name: Bindusara Maurya
  • Born: 320 BC
  • Died: c. 273 BCE
  • Reign:  c. 297 to  c. 273 BCE
  • Religion: Buddhism
  • Dynasty: Maurya
  • Spouse: Charumitra, Subhadrangi
  • Father: Chandragupta Maurya
  • Mother: Durdhara
  • Famous as: 2nd Mauryan Emperor

How Bindusara got his name

Jain and Buddhist texts have mentioned how Bindusara got his name. It is said that Chanakya, the minister of Chandragupta used to add small amount of poison continuously in the food of Chandragupta to build his immunity against the poison. One day, Chandragupta shared his food unknowingly with his wife who was pregnant. Her wife was in the last days of her delivery. Chanakya when came to know this, arrived there and cut the queen head. He also made a cut in her belly and removed the foetus to save the life of the unborn baby. Chanakya then put the foetus in the belly of the freshly killed goat each day until his birth.

After the birth the baby had the dotted drops of goat’s blood in the whole body and so he was named Bindusara. Durdhara died immediately after her head was cut by Chanakya and small amount of poison had already touched the head of the baby. That’s the reason Chanakya named the baby Bindusara meaning the ‘strength of the drop’.