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Ashmaka (Sanskrit: Aśmaka) or Assaka (Pali: Assaka) 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]

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


Aśmaka was located on the Godāvarī river,[3] between Mūlaka and Kaliṅga.[3]

The capital of Aśmaka was the city variously named Podana, Potali, and Potana, which corresponds to the modern-day Bodhan city.[3]


The Aśmaka kingdom already existed at the time of the Brāhmaṇas, when its king Brahmadatta was mentioned in the Mahāgovinda Suttanta as a contemprary of Reṇu of Videha and Dhataraṭṭha or Dhṛtarāṣṭra of Kāsī. [4]

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.[5]: 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.[6][7] Asmaka also included Mulaka area around Paithan known in ancient times as Pratishthana.[8] According to Sutta Nipata Saketa or Ayodhya was first halting place on the southward road (Dakshinapatha) from Shravasti to Pratishthana.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gupta, Parmanand (1989). Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 9788170222484.
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 109. ISBN 9788122411980.
  3. ^ a b c Raychaudhuri 1953, p. 89.
  4. ^ Raychaudhuri, p. 89.
  5. ^ N. K. Sahu; Kharavela (King of Kalinga) (1984). Khâravela. Orissa State Museum.
  6. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri (1998). The Sātavāhanas and the Western Kshatrapas: a historical framework. Dattsons. p. 56. ISBN 978-81-7192-031-0.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Indian History. Allied Publishers. 1988. ISBN 978-81-8424-568-4.
  9. ^ Bakker, Ayodhya, Part 1 1984, p. 5.


  • Bakker, Hans (1984). Ayodhya, Part 1: The History of Ayodhya from the seventh century BC to the middle of the 18th century. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. ISBN 9069800071.
  • Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1953). Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of Gupta Dynasty. University of Calcutta.

External linksEdit