King Ashoka and Arboriculture

Ashoka and Arboriculture

Botany History in Maurya Period -13

BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –67

By: Bhishma Kukreti M.Sc. {(Botany), B.Sc. (Honours in Botany), Medical Tourism Historian)


There was definitely culture of public gardening before Ashoka as Kautilya described public parks and gardens and trees near road sides.

Ashoka paid high attention on arboriculture or trees, shrubs or perennial plants at road sides.

Mahajan describes that Ashoka ordered for planting of Banyan trees and mango grooves (road sides).

Ashoka engraved 14 rock edicts too (1)., 7 pillar edicts;  and minor inscriptions those show the works of ideal King Ashoka (1)

In 2nd Rock edicts, Ashoka states that-

I did dug wells and planted trees for humans and animals .

Ashok also mentions that along road sides, he planted (by order) banyan trees for shades to the travels and animals. Ashoka also ordered for mango grooves were planted for common people and travellers.

Ashoka was not first in this earth for initiating Arboriculture but (his forefathers were initiators as stated in Arthashastra) Ashoka was first to publicize his works boldly and historians write that Ashoka initiated Arboriculture or plantation on road sides.



1-Mahajan, V.D. Ancient India, S Chand And Company, Delhi , (1998, ) page 298

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, bckukreti@gmail.com , Mumbai India, 2020

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