Ashoka the Great

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Ashoka (or Asoka) was India's great emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty of India who ruled from 304-232 BC. His name means "He who is loved by the Gods and who is friendly to everyone".

Ashoka is often cited as one of India's greatest emperors. After a number of military conquests, he reigned over much of present-day India. He fought a war with the kingdom of Kalinga in which there were said to be 200,000+ casualties.

Afterwards, shaken by his brutal victory, he decided to become a Buddhist and lead with peace, not war. To do this, he set up hospitals for animals and humans, created shaded and rested areas along roads for weary travelers to rest, and dug wells in villages. We know these things about his life through various inscriptions (writing) on rocks and pillars.

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