Extent of the Empire
Ashokan inscriptions corroborated by archaeological data are aï¿½reliable guide to the extent of the Maurya empire. Magadha wasï¿½the home province of the Mauryas and the city of Pataliputra,ï¿½its capital. Other cities mentioned in the inscriptions includeï¿½Ujjain, Taxila, Kaushambi, Tosali, near Bhubaneshwar, andï¿½Suvarnagiri which was near Erragudi in Kurnool district ofï¿½Andhra Pradesh. According to unconfirmed information,ï¿½Kashmir was included in the Ashokan empire, as also wasï¿½Khotan in central Asia. But the latter statement seems ratherï¿½improbable. The Mauryans had close connections with the areaï¿½of modern Nepal, since the foothills were a part of the empire. Inï¿½the east, Mauryan influence extended as far as the Ganga delta.ï¿½Tamralipti, or modern Tamluk was an important port on theï¿½Bengal coast from where ships sailed for Burma, Sri Lanka asï¿½well as for south India. Another major port on the west coastï¿½was Broach at the mouth of the Narmada.
Kandahar formed the western-most limit of the Mauryanï¿½empire and Ashokan inscriptions mention the Gandhrasï¿½Kambojas and the Yonas as the other borders. However in theï¿½north-west, the Mauryas maintained close contacts with theirï¿½neighbours, the Seleucid empire and the Greek kingdoms. Inï¿½his inscriptions, Ashoka mentions several Greek rulers withï¿½whom he exchanged envoys and gifts. Mauryan relations withï¿½Sri Lanka were very close and Ashoka sent his son, Mahindra,ï¿½to preach Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Ashokan inscriptions in theï¿½south mention several people with whom he was on friendlyï¿½terms – the Cholas, Pandyas, Satiyaputras and Karalaputras.
It does not appear that the Mauryas had uniform politicalï¿½control over a large part of the Indian subcontinent. There wereï¿½several areas outside Mauryan control, even though Mauryanï¿½routes skirted these regions along their periphery. In Andhraï¿½and Karnataka it seems that the Mauryas successfully enlistedï¿½the support of local communities.
Written by princy