Asmaka (IAST: Asmaka) or Assaka (Pali) was a Mahajanapada in ancient India which existed between 700 BCE and 425 or 345 BCE according to the Buddhist texts Anguttara Nikaya and Puranas. It was located around and between the Godavari river[1] in present-day Telangana and Maharashtra. Its capital is variously called Potali or Podana, and is identified as present-day Bodhan in Telangana.[2]

Asmaka Mahajanapada
c. 700 BCE–425 or 345 BCE
Assaka and other Mahajanapadas in the Post Vedic period.
Assaka and other Mahajanapadas in the Post Vedic period.
CapitalPotali or Podana (present day Bodhan),
Common languagesSanskrit
Historical eraBronze Age, Iron Age
• Established
c. 700 BCE
• Disestablished
425 or 345 BCE
Today part ofIndia


Located around and between the river Godavari.[1] Asmaka included areas in present-day Maharashtra and Telangana.[3] It was one of the shodasa (sixteen) Mahajanapadas in the 6th century BCE, mentioned in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya.[4] Puranas mention Asmaka as one of the conquered territories of the Nandas in the 5th or 4th century BCE.

The capital is variously called Potali or Podana, which is identified as present-day Bodhan in Telangana.[2] The Buddhist text Mahagovinda Suttanta mentions about a ruler of Asmaka, Brahmadatta who ruled from Potali.[5] The Matsya Purana (ch. 272) lists twenty-five rulers of Aśmaka, contemporary to the Shishunaga rulers of Magadha. Panini in his 'Aṣṭādhyāyī' mentions Asmaka Kingdom in connection with Dakshinatya and Kalinga.[6]

Asmaka is also identified as Assaka and Aśvakas in Buddhist literature and Gatha Saptashati of king Hāla.[citation needed]

The Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela (2nd century BCE) mentions Kharavela's threat to a city variously interpreted as "Masika" (Masikanagara), "Musika" (Musikanagara) or "Asika" (Asikanagara). N. K. Sahu identifies Asika as the capital of Asmaka.[7]: 127  According to Ajay Mitra Shastri, "Asika-nagara" was located in the present-day village of Adam in Nagpur district (on the Wainganga River). A terracotta seal excavated in the village mentions the Asmaka janapada.[8][9] Asmaka also included Mulaka area around Paithan known in ancient times as Pratishthana.[10] According to Sutta Nipata Saketa or Ayodhya was first halting place on the southward road (Dakshinapatha) from Shravasti to Pratishthana.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Gupta, Parmanand (1989). Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 9788170222484.
  2. ^ a b Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 109. ISBN 9788122411980.
  3. ^ Tiwari, Anshuman; Sengupta, Anindya (10 August 2018). Laxminama: Monks, Merchants, Money and Mantra. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 307. ISBN 9789387146808.
  4. ^ Law, Bimala Churn (1973). Tribes in Ancient India. Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. p. 180.
  5. ^ Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1972) Political History of Ancient India, University of Calcutta, mumbai, p.80
  6. ^ Gupta, Kalyan Kumar Das (1972). "The Aśvakas: an Early Indian Tribe". East and West. 22 (1/2): 33–40. ISSN 0012-8376. JSTOR 29755742.
  7. ^ N. K. Sahu; Kharavela (King of Kalinga) (1984). Khâravela. Orissa State Museum.
  8. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri (1998). The Sātavāhanas and the Western Kshatrapas: a historical framework. Dattsons. p. 56. ISBN 978-81-7192-031-0.
  9. ^ Inguva Karthikeya Sarma; J. Vara Prasada Rao (1 January 1993). Early Brāhmī Inscriptions from Sannati. Harman Publishing House. p. 68. ISBN 978-81-85151-68-7.
  10. ^ Indian History. Allied Publishers. 1988. ISBN 978-81-8424-568-4.
  11. ^ Bakker, Ayodhya, Part 1 1984, p. 5.

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