Who was Shashigupta Maurya?

By Sunil Kumar

Interesting question. After some research from different sources; what you’ve mentioned is partially true. First of all; there was definitely a Shashigupta. The Maurya dynasty came later after Chandragupta made them popular launching a dynasty etc.

As mentioned in the article on Shashigupta and these two links;


Political and Social Ethics of India

Shashigupta was most probably a border king of the Hindukush(present-day Pak-Afghan border or POK) who allied with Alexander in his initial foray into India; apart from Ambhi; the king of Taxila(who is more frequently mentioned as a collaborator)

The Maurya Empire after Bindusara's death 269.

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in The Maurya Empire after Bindusara’s death 269. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The fact that Alexander died in Babylon is mentioned in many historical accounts; but Shashigupta poisoning old Alex is probably a conspiracy theory. The Macedonian could make his way into India initiall due to the fact that the kingdoms were ganged up against each other; and they especially resented Paurava(or Porus); the most powerful one among the regional chieftains.

Also; the reluctance of Alexander’s army to march forward is generally regarded as the reason why he didn’t ahead and march further to battle the king of Pataliputra.

There is very little information on Shashigupta; he can also be a fictional construct created in a Sanskrit play such as Mudrarakshasa; or other accounts of the time that survived to the present day.

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