The special Ashoka Rock Edict at Jaugada of Ganjam District in Odisha (Orissa) State
Ashoka Rock Edict at Jaugada, Ganjam, Odisha
Address: Village: Jaugada, Post : Pandia, Via: Pandia, Tehsil: Purushottampur, District: Ganjam State: Orissa, Pin: 761043
Approach: This Ashokan rock edict is situated along N.H. 32. While advancing from Berhampur to Aska town near Rushikulya Bridge, at a distance of 5 km from Pandia chock this site can be seen.
Background/Story: After his occupation of Kalinga in Odisha, King Ashok was struck with sorrow at the misery he caused to the people. Consequently he converted to Buddhism and spent rest of his life spreading his dharma (law) and justified to be one of the broadminded and generous monarchs of Ancient India. To succeed in his mission he had numerous edicts inscribed on rocks, pillars and caves, all over his vast empire. These edicts were written in various vernaculars and stand as evidences of the written document from the Indic regions.
History of the place: It belongs to the Mauryan period (3rd century B.C.) and the contribution of the most illustrious Mauryan emperor Asoka’s (272 – 232 B.C.).What to see:The inscription is incised on the surface of a rock (granite outcrop). The language of the inscription is prakrit and the script is Mauryan Brahmi. Now it is a protected monument of Archaeological Survey of India and a point of tourist attraction.
The inscription has been protected with a shed along with an iron grill. However most of the letters have been reduced to nothing and only the upper 28 lines of the inscription are legible.
The edicts express Asoka’s earnest concern for not only his own subject but also the people in the borders.
This rock edict stands eleven out of the fourteen rock edicts of Maurayan Emperor Ashok. It encourages his Dharma, actions and the propagation.
The inclusion of two separate edicts (edicts XI, XII & XIII) intended for instruction and guidance to the officials at Samapa (modern Jaugada locality), the headquarters of the conquered province of Kalinga by Ashok.
The emperor charges his officials to administer justice to the people and declares “All men are my children as on behalf of my children I desire that they may be provided by me with complete welfare and happiness in this world and in the other world, even so is my desire on behalf of all men.”
The second Ashokan rock edict is at the site of Dhauli and both the special Kalinga edicts, as stated in edicts nos. XI, XII and XIII are addressed to the Mahamantras, (state officer and judicial officer) instructing them to be careful to all his subjects in treating with kindness and judicial fairness as emperor Ashok regarded his subjects as his own children.