Ashoka’s Inscriptions for Famine Relief | UPSC Notes

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A small metal plate with writing on it was found in the village of Sohgaura in the Uttar Pradesh district of Gorakhpur.

• The writing is in the Brahmi script and the Prakrit language.

• This four-line inscription is a record of a famine aid order from Manavasti to Shravasti. Different scholars have given it different dates. Some of them have given it a date before the Ashokan and some have given it a date after the Mauryan.

This writing is on a piece of limestone that was found in the village of Mahasthangarh in the Bagura area of Bangladesh.

• This seven-line inscription looked and sounded like an Ashokan inscription, but experts disagree on how old it is.


• The Mahasthan inscription seems to be an order from a king to the mahamatra stationed at Pundranagara (modern Mahasthangarh village) about how to help people during a famine. It says that paddy should be given out and loans should be given out.

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