Extent of the Empire

Ashokan inscriptions corroborated by archaeological data are a�reliable guide to the extent of the Maurya empire. Magadha was�the home province of the Mauryas and the city of Pataliputra,�its capital. Other cities mentioned in the inscriptions include�Ujjain, Taxila, Kaushambi, Tosali, near Bhubaneshwar, and�Suvarnagiri which was near Erragudi in Kurnool district of�Andhra Pradesh. According to unconfirmed information,�Kashmir was included in the Ashokan empire, as also was�Khotan in central Asia. But the latter statement seems rather�improbable. The Mauryans had close connections with the area�of modern Nepal, since the foothills were a part of the empire. In�the east, Mauryan influence extended as far as the Ganga delta.�Tamralipti, or modern Tamluk was an important port on the�Bengal coast from where ships sailed for Burma, Sri Lanka as�well as for south India. Another major port on the west coast�was Broach at the mouth of the Narmada.

Kandahar formed the western-most limit of the Mauryan�empire and Ashokan inscriptions mention the Gandhras�Kambojas and the Yonas as the other borders. However in the�north-west, the Mauryas maintained close contacts with their�neighbours, the Seleucid empire and the Greek kingdoms. In�his inscriptions, Ashoka mentions several Greek rulers with�whom he exchanged envoys and gifts. Mauryan relations with�Sri Lanka were very close and Ashoka sent his son, Mahindra,�to preach Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Ashokan inscriptions in the�south mention several people with whom he was on friendly�terms – the Cholas, Pandyas, Satiyaputras and Karalaputras.

It does not appear that the Mauryas had uniform political�control over a large part of the Indian subcontinent. There were�several areas outside Mauryan control, even though Mauryan�routes skirted these regions along their periphery. In Andhra�and Karnataka it seems that the Mauryas successfully enlisted�the support of local communities.

Written by princy

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