The Maurya Empire (322-185 BCE), ruled by the Mauryan dynasty, was a geographically extensive and powerful political and military empire in ancient India. The empire was established by Chandragupta Maurya and flourished under Ashoka the great. At its greatest extent, it stretched to the north to the natural boundaries of the Himalayas and to the east into what is now Assam. To the west, it reached beyond modern Pakistan, annexing Balochistan and much of what is now Afghanistan, including the modern Herat and Kandahar provinces. The empire was expanded into India's cenral and Southern regions by the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded extensive unexplored tribal and forested regions by the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded extensive unexplored tribal and forested regions near Kalinga whicg were subsequently taken by Ashoka. Ashoka propagated Budhism and established many Budhist monuments.
Chandragupta's ministers Chanakya wrote the Arthashastra, one of the greatest treaties on economics , politics, foreign affairs, administration, military arts, war, and religion produced in Asia. Archaeologically, the period of Maurya rule in South Asia falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW). The Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are primary written records of the Mauryan times.The Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, is the national emblem of India.