Short notes on the Edicts of Asoka


The Asokan edicts are deemed to be original, personal records of the king engraved on rocks and stone pillars. They give a wealth of information about the king, that is, his life and his reign, and have indirect references to a number of aspects that help us in studying the history of the period.

The geographical locations of these edicts is important as they were placed near habitations, places of religious interest, or along chief travel routes so that they could be seen and read by many people.

It is, however, interesting that the sites in South India are all located near the areas where gold was mined.


Besides the major and minor rock edicts and the well-known pillar edicts, some other inscriptions include two short inscriptions written in Aramaic script, one of them found in Taxila and the other in Lampaka (identified with Lamghan on the north­ern bank of Kabul River near Jalalabad in Afghani­stan).

Four edicts have been found at a site between Shalatak and Qargha villages in Afghanistan of which one is in Aramaic and the rest are written in Kharosthi.

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