Major Rock Edicts of AshokaLocation/Place
YerragudiAndhra Pradesh.
Major Pillar Edicts of AshokaLocation/Place
MeerutUttar Pradesh
KausambiUttar Pradesh
SarnathUttar Pradesh
RampurvaChamparan, Bihar
SanchiMadhya Pradesh
Lauriya-ArarajChamparan, Bihar
Lauriya-NandangarhChamparan, Bihar
SankissaUttar Pradesh
Minor Rock EdictsLocation/Place
BahapurSouth Delhi
GujarraMadhya Pradesh
Saru Maru/ PangurariaMadhya Pradesh
Palkigundu and GavimathKarnataka
Rajula MandagiriAndhra Pradesh
YerragudiAndhra Pradesh
Sasaram / SahasramBihar
RupnathMadhya Pradesh
AhrauraUttar Pradesh
Minor Pillar EdictsLocation/Place
SarnathUttar Pradesh
SanchiMadhya Pradesh
Allahabad (Kosambi)Uttar Pradesh
Rummindei/ PaderiaNepal
Nigali SagarNepal


  • located in Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
  • rock edicts were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 30 January 2004 in the Cultural category
  • Shahbaz Garhi is situated on the junction of three ancient routes;
    • Kabul to Pushkalavati (modern Charsadda)
    • Swat through Buner
    • Taxila through Hund on the bank of Indus River.
  • The town is the location of ancient Indian rock-inscriptions that are cut into two large rock boulders and written in the Kharosthi script.
  • They were constructed during the 3rd Century BC (272-231 BC)
    • inscribed in the Kharoshthi script
    • Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka
    • present aspects of Asoka’s dharma


  • Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka
  • Mansehra is a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
  • With the rise of Chandragupta Maurya, the region came under the complete control of the Mauryan Empire. Ashoka governed this area as a prince, imperial throne.
  • The Edicts of Ashoka inscribed on three large boulders near Mansehra record fourteen of Ashoka’s edicts, presenting aspects of the emperor’s dharma or righteous law.
  • These represent some of the earliest evidence of deciphered writing in the subcontinent, dating to middle of the third century BCE, and are written from right to left in the Kharosthi script.


  • Located in Afghanistan.
  • Kandahar Greek Edicts of Ashoka are among the Major Rock Edicts.
  • written in the Greek language and Prakrit language.
  • It is thought that Old Kandahar was founded in the 4th century BCE by Alexander the Great.
  • It became part of many empires, including the Mauryans, Indo-Scythians, Safavids etc.
  • It has been a frequent target for conquest because of its strategic location, controlling the main trade route linking the Indian subcontinent with the Middle East, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
  • The city was often fought over by the Safavids and the Mughals during medieval period.


  • Located in Khalsi village, near Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • The Rock edicts of Khalsi, also spelled Kalsi, are a group of an Indian rock inscriptions written by the Indian Emperor Ashoka around 250 BCE.
  • The inscription in Khalsi contains all the Major Rock Edicts, from 1 to 14.
  • Written in Brahmi script and Pali language
    • Fourteen edicts reflect Asoka’s humane approach in his internal administration, his fatherly concern for the moral and spiritual welfare of his subjects, and his commitment to non-violence and abandonment of warfare.


  • Located in Girnar Hill near Junagadh in Kathiawar of Gujarat.
    • Mount Girnar is a major igneous plutonic complex which intruded into the basalts towards the close of the Deccan Trap period.
  • Major rock edicts of Ashoka:
    • On black granite
    • bears inscriptions etched with an iron pen in Brahmi script
  • On the same rock there are inscriptions in Sanskrit added around 150 CE by Rudradaman I, the Saka ruler of Malwa, a member of the Western Kshatrapas dynasty:
    • earliest Sanskrit inscription
    • mentions renovation of Sudarshana Lake which was originally built by Pusyagupta the provincial governor of Chandragupta.
  • Another inscription dates from about 450 CE and refers to Skandagupta the last Gupta Empire.
  • The protective building around the edicts was built in 1900 by Nawab Rasool Khan of Junagadh State.
  • It was repaired and restored in 1939 and 1941 by the rulers of Junagadh
  • A much smaller replica of these Girnar edicts has been positioned outside the entrance of the National Museum in Delhi.
  • Many Jain and Hindu temples are located in Girnar.


  • In Thane district, Maharashtra.
  • Known to Ptolemy and the author of the Periplus.
  • Seaport and a centre of international trade.
  • Centre of artisanal activity which manufactured swords, shoes and other leather goods that were in great demand in the western world.
  • A major rock edict of Ashoka found.
  • The relics of stupa found.


  • In Gulbarga District of Northern Karnataka
  • Discovery of the first inscribed portrait of Ashoka, named Raya Ashoka, was discovered in the stupa.
  • Buddhist Stupa discovered
  • Major Ashokan Rock Edict
    • Prakrit language and Brahmi script
    • Separate Rock Edicts 1 and 2, fragments Rock Edicts 13 and 14.
  • Famous for the Chandrala Parameshwari Temple.

Yerragudi/ Erragudi

  • In Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Major and Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka.
  • Inscriptions in Brahmi Script and Prakrit language.
  • Ashoka was referred to Piyadasi and the Beloved of Gods.
  • Inscriptions contained on nine rocks advocated that:
    • one should be obedient to one’s parents,
    • one should likewise be obedient to one’s elders,
    • one should be kind to living beings,
    • one should speak truth,
    • one should propagate the attributes of dharma,
    • no-living being be slaughtered for sacrifices.
  • The rock edict also mention welfare work of Ashoka like planting of tress, digging wells for the enjoyment of animals and men.


  • In Puri district, Odisha.
  • Rock Edicts of Ashoka:
    • I-X, XIV and two separate Kalinga Edicts.
    • In Kalinga Edict VI, he expresses his concern for the “welfare of the whole world”.
  • Dhauli elephant which emerges from the rock above the inscription probably associated with the Buddha.


  • In Ganjam district, Orissa.
  • Inscription is one of the two Kalinga edicts (other being at Dhauli) which are supplements to the series of fourteen Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka.
  • These two Kalinga edicts laid down the principles on which the newly conquered province of Kalinga was to be governed.


  • In Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Meghalithic, BRW and NBPW site.
  • Inscription in Maurya Brahmi found.
  • Dhanyakataka – capital of Satavahanas.
  • Buddhist stupa:
    • Buddhist Stupa and Mahachaityas with marble and limestone sculptures.
    • Its carved panels tell the story of Buddha.
  • Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited in 7 century.
  • Ancient School of Arts:
    • Flourished for nearly six centuries commencing from 200-100 BC.
    • Patronized first by the Satavahanas and later by the Ikshvakus.
    • Some Buddhist sculptures with Greco-Roman influence.


  • In Raisen district, MP.
  • Buddhist Stupa:
    • Originally commissioned by Ashoka.
      • A hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha.
      • Pillar edict (polished sandstone) of Ashoka erected.
    • Sunga period:
      • Expanded with stone slabs.
      • Enclosed by a stone balustrade with four toranas.
    • Satavahana period:
      • The gateways and the balustrade were improved and colored.
      • An inscription records the gift by the artisans of the Satavahana king Satakarni.
    • Stone carving:
      • Buddha not depicted as a human figure but by attributes, such as the horse, his footprints, or a canopy under the bodhi tree.
      • Carved in the manner of wood.
      • The gateways were covered with narrative sculptures with scenes from the life of the Buddha integrated with everyday events.

Delhi-Meerut and Delhi-Topra

  • Two pillar edicts in Delhi.
  • Delhi-Meerut Pillar on the Delhi ridge.
    • Seven main inscriptions or edicts in Brahmi of Emperor Ashoka apart from some figures and many minor inscriptions.
  • Delhi-Topra Pillar in the grounds of Feroz Shah Kotla.
    • The inscription is in Brahmi script.
    • Conveys the same message as the other Ashokan Pillars erected such as “code of dharma: virtue, social cohesion and piety” but with one difference that on this pillar there is also a reference to issues related to taxation.
  • Both were brought to Delhi by Firuz Shah Tughluq from Meerut and Topra (Haryana) respectively.


  • In Allahabad, U.P.
  • Pillar is an Ashoka Stambha.
  • Contains Ashokan inscription in Brahmi containing the same six edicts that can be seen on the other pillars
  • Also has later inscriptions of Samudragupta.
    • It is in Sanskrit, written in Gupta script (later version of Brahmi) by the poet and minister, Harishena.
    • Praising Samudragupta and lists the political and military achievements.
  • Also engraved on the stone are inscriptions by the Mughal emperor, Jahangir.


  • Located near Varanasi, U.P.
  • In deer park of Sarnath, Buddha first taught the Dharma (Dhammachakkappavattana Sutta) after attaining enlightenment.
  • One of four most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Lumbini.
  • Also the birthplace the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism, and a temple dedicated to him.
  • Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang visited and found monasteries and monks studying the Hinayana and mentions stupa built by Ashoka.
  • Center for the arts, which reached its zenith during the Gupta period (Sarnath school).
  • Rich in Buddhist antiquities.
    • Dhamek Stupa:
      • a solid cylinder of bricks and stone.
      • wall covered with carved figures of humans and birds and inscriptions in the Brahmi script.
      • An Ashoka pillar with an edict and lion capital stands near the Stupa.
  • Beautiful sculptures found:
  • A colossal image of a Bodhisattava,
  • a number of images of Buddha and Buddhist deities,
  • Images of Hindu gods as Shiva and Brahma,
  • Lion capital on Ashokan pillar (official Emblem of India)
    • carved out of a single block of polished sandstone
    • mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels.
    • The wheel on the capital is the model for the one in the flag of India.
  • On pillar, an inscription of one of the Edicts of Ashoka reads, “No one shall cause division in the order of monks”.

Rummindei (Lumbini)

  • In Rupandehi District, Nepal.
  • Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 563 BCE in Lumbini.
  • A pillar here is believed to mark the spot of Ashoka’s visit to Lumbini.
    • An inscription on the pillar, mentions exemption of Lumbini from tax by Ashoka.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lauria Nandangarh

  • In West Champaran district, Bihar.
  • It has Pillar Edicts of Ashoka, containing of the 6 proclamations (edicts) of Ashoka, written in Brahmi and Prakrit.
  • The pillar has figures of peacocks engraved on it.
  • It has single lion capital.

Lauria Areraj

  • In East Champaran district, Bihar.
  • It has pillar, a single block of sandstone column, established by Ashoka and contains six edicts on it.
  • Presently devoid of any capital.


  • In West Champaran district, Bihar.
  • Two Ashokan pillars found.
  • On one of the pillars with bull at the top.
  • On the second pillar’s top is a lion.
  • The lion pillar is inscribed with Edicts of Ashoka and the bull is without inscriptions.

Barabar Caves

  • In Jehanabad district, Bihar.
  • One of the oldest surviving rock-cut caves, dating from the Maurya Empire.
  • Situated in the twin hills of Barabar and Nagarjuni.
  • Some caves belong to Ashoka and his grandson Dasaratha and were donated to the monks of Buddhist and Ajivikas sect (known from inscriptions in Brahmi on the walls of caves).
  • Caves meant for the residence for the monks (Viharas) and Assembly hall (Chaityas).
  • Caves consist of two chambers, carved out of granite, with a polished internal surface.
  • Main caves are Lomas Rishi and Sudama Caves.
  • Lomas Rishi cave:
    • arch-like shape facade
    • imitates the wooden architecture.


  • In Chitradurg district, Karnataka.
  • Neolithic-Chalolithic and Megalithic site.
  • Wattle-and daub huts with post holes.
  • Polished stone tools,
  • Microlithic blades, and
  • Handmade grey pottery.
  • Copper–bronze objects in later period.
  • Burials:
    • Extended burials of adults
    • urn burials of children.
  • Megalithic monuments have been found.
  • Agriculture and domestication of animal.
  • Draft animal used.
  • Ashokan edicts denotes the southernmost extent of the Mauryan Empire.


  • In Raichur district, Karnataka.
  • Neolithic-Chalcolithic and Megalithic cultures.
  • Minor Rock Edict of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka found.
    • First edict of Emperor Ashoka that contained the name Ashoka.
  • Artefacts:
    • Polished stone tools, microlithic blades, and copper rod.
    • Beads of carnelian, agate, chalcedony, shell, coral, glass, and paste.
  • Pottery:
    • Red ware
    • BRW
    • Incised designs on some pottery.
  • Animal bones found.
  • Rock paintings found.
  • Subsistence base:
    • agriculture,
    • animal domestication,
    • hunting.

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