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Assaka (Sanskrit: अश्मक, Aśmaka Pali: Assaka), was a region of ancient India (700–300 BCE). It was one of the solasa (sixteen) mahajanapadas in the 6th century BCE, mentioned in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya.
The region was located on the banks of the Godavari river, between the rivers Godavari and Manjira. It was the only Mahajanapada situated to the south of the Vindhya Range, and was in Dakshinapatha. It corresponds to districts Nizamabad and parts of Adilabad, Nanded and Yavatmal in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra states in current-day India.
The capital of Ashmaka was Paudanyapura, the Prakrit name of Bahudhanyapura meaning "city of many grains", identified as present day Bodhan. The capital is variously called Potali, Potana or Podana, which now lies in the Nandura Tehsil.
The Buddhist text Mahagovinda Suttanta mentions about a ruler of Assaka, Brahmadatta who ruled from Potana.
Ashmaka is also identified as Assaka and Aśvakas in Buddhist literature and Gatha Saptashati of king Hāla. Ashmaka is derived from Sanskrit word "Ashma" which means Stone or Gem: In fact one finds thousands of hillocks and stones in this region and thus aptly called Ashmaka. There is a speculation that about 10 to 20 Million years back, there was a heavy Meteoroid fall in this Region.
It is believed that the astronomer Aryabhata was from Ashmaka.
- Raychaudhuri, Hemchandra (1972) Political History of Ancient India, University of Calcutta, mumbai, p.80
- Law, B.C. (1973). Tribes in Ancient India, Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, pp.180-3
- Law, Bimala Churn (1926). "3. The Asmakas or Assakas". Ancient Indian Tribes. Motilal Banarsidas.
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