The Ashoka Empire was not confined to Magadha alone. Ashoka the Great was the Emperor of a major portion of the present Indian-subcontinent.
The extent of Ashoka Empire is generally known from the conquests of Chandragupta. Samrat Ashoka further added Kalinga to the empire of Chandragupta.
The rock edicts and inscriptions of Ashoka have been found at various places of India. They also get some information from these edicts. The discovery of these edicts gives us a fair idea of the extent of Ashoka’s empire.
The rock edicts and inscriptions of Ashoka have been found at:
- Bay of Bengal in the east,
- Dehradun district in the north,
- Hazara and Peshawar( in Pakistan) district in the North West,
- Thane district in Maharashtra in the west,
- Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the south.
The find spots of Ashoka edicts in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka denotes the inclusion of some of the southern regions with the Ashoka Empire.
We know from the classical writers that Chandragupta conquered Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and part of Baluchistan from Seleukus. That Ashoka retained his hold on this region is proved by the discovery of his edicts.
The find spots of Asokan edicts in North Western Frontier Province and in Eastern Afghanistan point to the inclusion of the region within Maurya dominion.
Bengal continued to form a part of Magadhan Empire up to the time of Ashoka is attested by Divyavadana and Hiuen Tsang. But Kamrup was not included within the Mauryan Empire and probably Brahmaputra formed the eastern limit of Ashoka’s empire.
The inclusion parts of Nepal within Ashoka’s dominion have been attested by the Tibetan historians and the Nepalese traditions.
Kalhana and Hiuen Tsang mention the inclusion of the Kashmir valley within Ashoka’s empire and that Asoka built a city which is named as Srinagar in modern times.
The Asokan inscriptions provide a list of the independent neighboring kingdoms in South India, such as Cholas, Pandyas, Keralaputra, etc. It is difficult to fix the correct geographical location of these states.
The Ashoka Empire consisted of the major part of India extending from the Hindukush in the North-west to Mysore country in the south.