The Emperor is Naked: How History Forgot the Ajivikas and Remembered the Mauryas

Echoes Of India: A History Podcast

Sep 13 2021 • 31 mins

The forgotten religion of the Ajivikas can tell us a great deal about the religions and empires of the early Gangetic Plains. Anirudh visits the medieval Jain site of Shravanabelagola near Bangalore, recounts the story of the mysterious Ajivika teacher Makkhali Goshala, and explains how the rise of the mighty empire of the Mauryas is connected to this vanished religious tradition.

Anirudh is trying to bring the history of South Asia alive though hard research and great storytelling. Please help him out on this labour of love at

Alternatively, you can donate at or through UPI at anirudh.kanisetti@okhdfcbank to get the same rewards - including community access, illustrations from South Asian history, and more!
Notes and sources will be available at - sign up for updates!

Follow Anirudh on Instagram @aniryuddha, @cholabhaturaempire, or @connectedhistories for more irreverent, critically-researched content on South Asia's incredible history.

See for privacy information.