This is a sketch I made of Chanakya, also known as Vishnu Gupta or Kautilya, one of India'a master strategists. Over 2300 years ago, he masterminded the creation of the enormous Mauryan Empire which covered a large part of the sub-continent. He was the advisor of Chandragupta Maurya, the first emperor of the Mauryan dynasty. Chanakya wrote two books, Chanakya Niti (neeti) [pdf download], and Arthashastra, which lay down the rules for the proper governance, defense and administration of an empire.
The Chanakya Niti offers a glimpse at life in India 2300 years ago. Surprisingly, the nature of Indian society is in many ways similar to what is happening today. Even then, Hinduism, Sanathana Dharma and much more were similarly applied in life. Temples such as Kedarnath and Badrinath were still held as sacred, and yoga and meditation were an important part of life. Even pilgrimage routes were very much the same. The book records the pilgrimage of people to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar over 2300 years ago! Even today, Indians make the pilgrimage to this mountain which is considered sacred as the abode of Shiva and Parvati.