Founded in the fourth century BCE by the great conqueror Chandragupta, who seized territory from the satraps left by Alexander the Great, the Maurya Empire controlled most of the Indian subcontinent from its capital on the Ganges River for two and a half centuries. Under the Mauryas, internal and external trade, agriculture, and
economic activities thrived and expanded across South Asia due to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance, administration, and security. But its greatest achievement was the establishment of Buddhism as the state religion by the great emperor Ashoka, who founded the famed Lion Capital at Samath. This silver punch-marked karshapana circulated in the Maurya Empire and is more than two thousand years old.