Indian emperor of the Maurya Empire (304 BCE – 232 BCE)

Ashoka was India's great emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty of India[1] who ruled from 268-232 BC. His name means "He who is loved by the Gods and who is friendly to everyone".

Ashoka is often cited as one of India's greatest emperors. After a number of military conquests, he reigned over much of present-day India. He fought a war with the kingdom of Kalinga in which there was said to be 200,000+ casualties. He conquered Kalinga (present-day Odisha) around 261 BCE.

Afterwards, shaken by his brutal victory, he decided to become a Buddhist and lead with peace, not war. To do this, he set up hospitals for animals and humans, created shaded and rested areas along roads for weary travellers to rest, and dug wells in villages. We know these things about his life through various inscriptions (writing) on rocks and pillars. Ashoka also convinced people to follow Buddhists paths.

The national emblem of India and the "Ashok Chakra" are created by Ashoka. It's in the flag to keep a remembrance of him.


  1. "Emperor Ashoka and Spread of Buddhism". Buddhist Potpourri. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17.