The Mauryan Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, 2,000 years back when he overthrew the Nanda King. His assistant was Chanakya, a shrewd advisor and strategic thinker. He has written a book called Arthashastra that comprises his thoughts on politics, economics, foreign affirs, administration, military arts, war and religion.
Chandragupta was succeeded by Bindusara, his son who extended the Mauryan Empire till Mysore. Bindusara was succeeded by his son Ashoka, who is regarded as the greatest ruler of the empire by many historians. He extended the Mauryan Empire till the modern-day Afghanistan, with Patliputra as capital.
The Mauryan Emperors appointed the family members to control the large empire. Only the capital Patliputra was controlled by the emperor while states like Ujjain and Taxila were governed by royal princes. The Emperors also appointed officials for collecting taxes, maintaining law and order and keeping a check on the activities of the subjects.
Numerous army battalions were maintained for protection against attacks, which required expenditure on salaries. Hence, the system of taxes was introduced in the empire. The three lions or the Lion capital on the Indian Currency notes and coins are from the edicts of the Mauryan Empire which were found at Sarnath.