Mauryn And Gupta empires are some of the best-known dynasties that existed in Ancient India. These two empires shared certain characteristics such as having the same capital city at Paliptura and both being established by rulers named Chandra-gupta. They were however different from one another in a number of ways as de-scrived below.
Period in which they existed
Mauryan empire was the first kingdom to be established among the two kingdoms. It was founded by Mauryan Chandragupta in 325 BCE and it existed until around 185 BCE. Gupta empire on the other hand came into existence much later on. It was established by Sri Chandragupta in 320 CE snd existed through to the 4th and 5th centuries.
Geographical extent of the kingdoms
Mauryan dynasty was larger in size compared to Gupta dynasty. Mauryan dynasty included almost all of the entire India, Pakistan and also Afghanistan. Gupta dynas-ty however only covered some portions of India.
Mauryan empire had a centralized form of administration. The ruling emperor had direct control over all the villages within the empire. The emperor’s leadership was bureaucratic and heavy taxes were imposed on the subjects.
Gupta emperor was characterised by a decentralized form of governance. The ruling emperor appointed village headmen who were in charge of the villages and the cen-tral government didn’t directly get involved with the villages. Unlike the Mauryan government which imposed extensive taxes on the subjects, the Gupta government didn’t levy heavy taxes on its people.
Religion that they practised
The Mauryan and Gupta empires subscribed to different faiths. Mauryan rulers tended to prefer non-Hindu religion over the Hindu religion. The founder of Mau-ryan empire, Mauryan Chandragupta, was a follower of Jainism. Most of the em-perors who came after Chandragupta practised Buddhism. The most powerful Mau-ryan emperor known as Ashoka chose the Buddhist religion out of remorse for the destruction his own wars of destruction had caused.
Gupta empire on the other hand practised the Hindu religion. Hinduism saw a major comeback during the reign of the Gupta emperors. Some Gupta emperors even named themselves after the Hindu gods. Also, many magnificent Hindu temples were constructed during Gupta’s rule.
The Mauryan dynasty constructed great architectural designs which had some bit of influence from Persia. Huge Buddhist sculptures were created such as those on which Ashoka’s edicts were carved.
During the Gupta reign, advancements were made in the fields of science, art, and literature. Because of the major advancements which were made in these fields, the period of Gupta’s rule is referred to as the Golden Age of India. The main artistic styles which were being applied during the Gupta empire were Mathura and Gandhara. These two styles were largely influenced by Hellenistic and Buddhist styles. Apart from science, art, and literature, astronomy also flourished during the period of Gupta’s rule.
Trade and commerce
The Mauryan empire embraced external trade. Mauryan Chandragupta signed a friendship treaty between India and Greece during his reign and these opened room for trade between the two empires. Gupta empire however did not engage in foreign trade, they mainly involved in internal trade.
Reasons for decline
The Mauryan dynasty fell mainly due to weak leadership after Ashoka’s exit from power. There were internal conflict, assassination of a ruler, and a revolution of Hindu chauvinists which all led to the Mauryan kingdom falling apart.
The Gupta dynasty however fell as a result of poor leadership by successors, cor-ruption within the administration, and wars with the Huns which caused the empire much resources. The empire was also rocked by external conflicts.