Ashoka was the ruler of the Maurya Empire from 273 on 232 BC. After a series of military successes, he conquered a considerable part of South Asia from the present-day Afghanistan to Bengal and further to Mysore. He is known mostly as a great patron of Buddhism. It is said that Ashoka became a Buddhist when he saw the horrors caused by the wars he’d led.
Ashoka was the grandson of Chandragupta and son of Bindusara. His mother was Subhadrangi – daughter of a poor Brahmin. According to legend, the father gave her in the harem, because he received a prophecy that his daughter would be a mother of a great ruler.
Arriving in Ujjain, the capital of Avanti, Ashoka proved to be an excellent governor. He married Shakya Kumari – the daughter of a rich merchant, who gave birth to two children, named Mahendra and Sanghamitra.
Emperor of Bindusara died in 272 BC and Ashoka was crowned as the king of Magadha after his father’s death.