History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2005: Q.2
Q.2 Determine the extent of the Mauryan empire.
The extant major rock edicts are mostly located along the borders of the empire and are extremely useful in determining the extent of the Mauryan empire. In addition to that, the pillar edicts, the minor rock edicts and various inscriptions can also help in this regard.
In the north-west
(a) Major rock edict and portions of pillar edict in Kandahar district, south Afghanistan;
(b) A bilingual Greek-Aramaic inscription at Shar-i-kuna near Kandahar in south-east Afghanistan;
(c) Two Aramaic inscriptions at Laghman in east Afghanistan and a bilingual Prakrit- Aramaic inscription at kandahar.
These evidences show that the Mauryan empire extended up to Kandahar in Afghanistan with the kingdom of Antiochus II of syria lying to the west.
In the north
(a) The major rock edicts at Shahbazgarhi (Peshwar district), Mansehra (Hazara district), Kalsi (Dehradun district);
(b) Inscriptions at Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra in Prakrit language and Kharoshthi script;
(c) An Aramaic inscription at taxila.
These evidences help in determining the northern boundary of the Mauryan empire.
In the west
(a) The major rock edicts at Bombay-Sopara and Girnar (Junagadh district,Gujarat);
(b) Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman, which attributes the beginning of the construction of a water reservoir known as the Sudarshana lake to Chandragupta’s reign.
These evidences help in establishing the fact that the Mauryan empire extended upto saurashtra in south Gujarat.
In the east
The major rock edicts at Dhauli (Puri district) and Jaugada (Ganjam district) shows that the eastern frontier of the empire extended upto Orissa.
In the South
a) The major rock edicts at Erragudi (Kurnool district) and Sannati (Gulbarga district);
(b) The noticeable clustering of minor rock edicts in the Andhra-Karnataka area. for example-at Maski, Gavimath, Palkigundu, Nittur , Brahmagiri, etc.
It shows that the empire included almost the entire subcontinent, except the southermost parts, which were inhabited by the Keralaputras and Satiyaputras according to rock edict 2.