After the fierce battle of Kalinga, the victorious king stood in the middle of the terrible carnage he
had wrought, in a battlefield filled with the dead and dying, and took a close look at what he had
The transformation that came over this king after one of his most significant victories at
war made him a legend forever. Ashoka the Great, the ruler of ancient India’s largest kingdom, took
the path of peace, tolerance, non-violence and compassion. He now addressed his subjects as a
father would his children, and erected pillars that spread his thoughts throughout the land in the
people’s own language. He put their welfare above all else and worked towards that for the rest of
his life. One of the most well-known symbols from India’s history, the Ashoka chakra, now adorns
India’s national flag, and the lion capital from his pillars is our national emblem.
In this lively, engrossing account of Ashoka’s life and times, Subhadra Sen Gupta deftly
brings him alive again from behind the swirling mists of time. It is a story about war, devotion and a
king’s live for his people, embellished with many details about Mauryan society, battle codes and
even freaky food facts! Plunge into some of the most dramatic episodes of India’s history with the
Puffin Lives series and let the past speak to you like never before.
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