Chanakya Age, Biography, Story, Facts & More


Real NameChanakya
Other NamesVishnugupta, Kautilya
NicknameIndian Machiavelli
ProfessionsTeacher, Philosopher, Economist, Jurist and Royal Advisor
Famous ForWriting 'Arthashastra' (An Indian Treatise on State-craft)
Personal Life
Date of Birth350 BCE
BirthplaceTakshashila (Modern-day Rawalpindi district in Pakistan)
Chanaka village in Golla region (Now, in Odhisha) (According to Jain texts)
Date of Death275 BCE
Place of DeathPataliputra, (Modern-day Patna) India
Age (at the time of death) 75 Years
Death CauseChanakya's death cause is a mystery, but
According to some sources- he died in renunciation due to starvation
According to other sources- He was killed by a conspirational plot by his opponents
UniversityTakshashila or Taxila University, Ancient India (Now, modern-day Rawalpindi, Pakistan)
Educational QualificationsStudied Sociology, Politics, Economics, Philosophy, etc
HobbiesReading, Writing, Public-speaking
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusAccording to Some Sources- Married
According to other sources- Celibate
Wife/SpouseNot Known
ParentsFather- Rishi Canak or Chanin (As per Jain Texts)
Mother- Chaneshvari (As per Jain Texts)


Some Lesser Known Facts About Chanakya

  • Apart from being a well-known scholar and economist, Chanakya was a cunning politician.
  • For some time, he taught in Taxila University (Now, the region is in Pakistan).
  • Chanakya was the author of the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra. Therefore, he is considered the pioneer in the field of political science and economics in India. Even today, the system of government described in his Arthashastra is followed by most of the nations in the world.
  • Chanakya had a great knowledge of three Vedas and Politics. According to a Buddhist legend, he had a canine tooth which was the mark of royalty. His mother feared that he would forget her after becoming a king. To pacify his mother, he broke his tooth.
  • He had an ugly face accentuated by his broken teeth and crooked feet.
  • One day, he went to Pushpapura (modern-day Patna) to attend King Dhana Nanda’s alms-giving ceremony. King was disgusted by his appearance and ordered to fling him out, whereupon he broke his sacred thread in anger and cursed the king. The king ordered his arrest, but Chanakya managed to escape. He befriended Dhananada’s son Pabbata and instigated him to seize the throne but he baffled and ran away.
  • Chanakya concealed himself in the Vinjha (now, Vindhya Range) forest. Later, he found Chandragupta Maurya and assembled his army and defeated Dhana Nanda.
  • Chanakya helped the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta in his rise to power.
  • Chanakya mixed small doses of poison in Chandragupta’s food to make him immune to poisoning attempts by his enemies. Chandragupta was not aware of this. Once, he shared his food with his pregnant queen, who was seven days away from delivery. Queen died, but Chanakya saved the unborn child.
  • He served as the chief political and economic advisor to both emperors Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.
  • According to some legends, Chanakya actually maintained an army of females. These women were known as ‘Vishakanyas.’ As per legends, Vishakanyas were extremely beautiful girls who were given small doses of poisons to put on their lips. These Vishakanyas were used in wartime. The poisons fed to these Vishakanyas made them so deadly that even their kisses could easily kill a person.
  • Apart from Arthashastra, Chanakya also authored the famous book, Chanakya Niti, also known as Chanakya Neeti-Shastra, which is primarily based on Aphorism (General Truth and Principles).
  • His thoughts on women are condemned by today’s scholars. Chanakya had researched on women extensively and recorded that in his texts.
  • As per some scholars, once Bindusara (son of Chandragupta) got instigated; as he received wrong information that Chanakya killed his mother, whereupon Bindusara expelled Chanakya from his empire. Later, when Bindusara realized his mistake, he ordered to get him back, but Chanakya refused and died in renunciation.
  • In 1905, his renowned book ‘the Arthashastra’ was rediscovered by librarian Rudrapatna Shamasastry and preserved it in the Oriental Research Institute Mysore.
  • Chanakya is respected as a great thinker and diplomat in India. Many Indian nationalists praised him a lot. India’s former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon praised Chanakya’s Arthashastra for its explicit and precise rules which are applied even today.
  • Indian film actor Manoj Joshi has portrayed Chanakya more than thousand times in his acting career and has also won the best actor award for TV serial ‘Chanakya’.