Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka

Major Rock Edicts of AshokaLocation/Place
YerragudiAndhra Pradesh.


  • Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka.
  • Lies in Khyber Pakhtunkwa 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.
  • They are written in Prakrit language and Kharoshti script.
  • The site is located near Karakoram highway on the ancient Silk Route.
  • This site is currently in the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.
  • 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 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


  • Located at Shar-I-Kuna in Kandahar, 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 Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, at the confluence of Yamuna and Tons rivers.
  • The site of Ashoka’s inscriptions at Kalsi is the only place in North India where the great Mauryan emperor has inscribed the set of all the fourteen rock edicts.
  • Language of these edicts is Pali and the script is Brahmi. During Mauryari age, Kalsi was a major trading centre and so Ashoka inscribed a rock edict here to preach the principle of Dhamma tomaximum people.
  • There are several distinguishing features like the presence of a royal elephant on the edict.


  • 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.


  • Originally it was at Sopara in Thane district, Maharashtra but now has been moved to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai.
  • 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.


  • Located in Puri district, Odisha.
  • Was part of ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was conquered by emperor Ashoka in about 260 BC.
  • The Ashokan inscription has been cut high on the rock which also has a depiction of monumental rock cut elephant.
  • Here separate rock edicts I and II replace major rock edicts 11-13.
  • The site has been identified as Tosali which is mentioned by Ptolemy as a metropolis.
  • It was situated near sacred pool of Kosala Ganga and thus developed into a religious centre as well.


  • Situated on the northern bank of Rishikulya river, Ganjam district, Odisha.
  • Was part of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga as suggested by separate rock edicts 1 and 2.
  • The two separate edicts are addressed to the Mahamattas of Samapa, which was probably the name of a town in the Mauryan period.
  • The presence of fort ruins suggest it was a large town and probably a military centre.
  • Was a trade centre due to its proximity with the sea.

Yerragudi/ Erragudi

  • In Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Both major edicts and minor edicts of Ashoka giving the principles of Dhamma have been excavated here.
  • 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.


  • Situated on the bank of Bhima river, Gulbarga district, 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.
  • Because of the elaborate fortification, the site of Sannati is identified with Suvarnagri, one of the four provincial capitals of the Mauryan empire.
  • Also known for Chadralamba temple, a well known pilgrimage centre.

Minor Rock Edicts of Ashoka

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


  • In Jaipur district, Rajasthan.
  • The minor rock edict III is engraved on anisolated block standing at the foot of Hinsagir Hill.
  • Along with the minor rock edict, Bairat also has Bhabru edict which says Ashoka had full faith in Buddha, Sangha and Dhamma.
  • Was the capital city of Matsya Mahajanpada in 6th century BC.
  • Also, remains of two large monasteries and Stupa made it an old and established centre of Buddhism along with a political centre.


  • Located in present South Delhi and was part of an ancient trade route linking Gangetic plains to N-W part of Indian sub-continent.
  • Written in Brahmi script and was a first personal message of Ashoka, which exhorts people to follow the Buddhist way of life.


  • Lies at the foot of Kaimur hills in Rohtas district, Bihar, not very far from Son river.
  • Edict was discovered in 1839 by EL Ravenshaw.
  • A Minor rock edict has been excavated in the ancient city on the route from Patna / Patliputra to Son Valley and then down from Narmada valley to Braoch.
  • Sasaram is also the birth place of Shershah Suri and also has Shershah Suri’s red sandstone tomb.


  • Located on a hill top in Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The edict of Ahraura was discovered by RG Pandya in 1961 and translated by DC Sircar.
  • Only minor rock edict I is found at this site.
  • The Ahraura version of the edict is the only Ashokan record which states that the pilgrimage was under taken immediately after installation ofthe relics of Buddha on a platform (Stupa).


  • Located in Kaimur hills, Katni district, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The minor rock edict I is found, which is engraved on a boulder of dark red sandstone.
  • The edict addresses the local Buddhist Sangha and shows Ashoka’s belief in Buddha and Dhamma and his aim to propagate it.
  • Also, a temple of Shiva called Rupnatesvar Temple and three kunds (ponds) named after Ram, Lakshaman and Sita make it a Hindu pilgrimage site.


  • Located in Sehore district of M.P.
  • The minor rock edict is engraved in Saru-Maru monastic complex (the rock shelter).
  • The edict shows Ashoka’s belief in Dhamma and Sangha and use of inscription on rock as a way for propagating Dhamma.
  • The remains of Stupa and other related structure of third century BC were also excavated from these rock shelters.


  • In Datia District, Madhya Pradesh.
  • At the foot of a low hill known as Siddham ki Todiya.
  • The minor rock edict I was discovered is 1953.
  • The edict here refers Ashoka with his personal name.
  • Was part an ancient trade route connecting Patliputra to Broach.


  • In Raichur district, Karnataka.
  • Only minor rock edict I found.
  • It was discovered by C Beadon in 1915 CE.
  • This was the first found edict which referred Ashoka with his personal name.
  • Historian D.K.Chakraborty identifies Maski with old Musangi where battle between Chalukyan king Jayasimha II and the Chola king Rajendra I was fought, as evident from Thirumalai inscription of Rajendra I.


  • In Koppal district, Karnataka.
  • The minor rock edict I was inscribed in about 258 BC on the hill- spur on the east of Palkigundu hill.
  • The edict preaches Dhamma Policy and shows the importance of practicising Dhamma.


  • In Chitradurga district, Karnataka.
  • Both minor rock edict I and II are found here
  • It was discovered by B Lewis Rice in 1892 CE.
  • The edict I shows the belief of Ashoka in Dhamma and his willingness to propagate it and is addressed to officer of Suvarnagiri. The second edict contains a short summary of Ashoka’s Dhamma.
  • Two other minor rock edict sites of Jatinga Rameswaram and Siddapura lie within 5km range of Brahmagiri site.


  • In Bellary district, Karnataka.
  • Both minor rock edicts I and II are found here engraved on separate boulders.
  • Both these edicts refer Ashoka by his personal name.


  • Located in Bellary district, Karnataka.
  • Both minor rock edicts I and II are found here.
  • The rock edicts refer Ashoka by his personal name.


  • The Lampaka Aramaic Inscription now in the Kabul museum was found at the site of Lampaka generally identified with the modern Lamghan on the northern bank of the Kabul river near Jalalabad.
  • The inscription has been connected with the Asokan period on the basis of the text referring to the setting up of a pillar inscription by Devanampiya.


  • The inscription on a vertical slab of stone near the top of a hill, on the left or eastern bank of the Laghman river in the province of Laghman in Afghanistan.
  • This hill or ridge, is called Sultan Baba.
  • In this edict Ashoka condemned the worthless ceremonies where animals were slaughtered.
Minor Rock Edicts
Minor Rock Edicts Minor Pillar Edicts

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Thank you so much for this post. Thank you for letting us download these very clear charts and also the maps. Keep up the good work. God luck!