Research has brought up conflicting answers to this question and the answers I have gotten are generally confusing and poorly written.

I'm wondering what calendar the Mauryan Empire used and what year Ashoka was born in, in accordance to that calendar.

  • 3
    If you can indicate some of the sources you've looked at so far, that will be helpful. Wikipedia says that Ashoka was born c. 304 BCE.
    – Brian Z
    Apr 22, 2020 at 20:59
  • Calendars and dating systems change with time. What time period of general usage are you interested in? Apr 22, 2020 at 21:04
  • @BrianZ I'm aware that Ashoka was born in 304 BCE / 304 B.C but that's via the Gregorian Calendar not whatever calendar the Mauryan Empire used. Apr 22, 2020 at 21:38
  • @PieterGeerkens. I think the question is very clear. It is about the Maurya period.
    – fdb
    Apr 22, 2020 at 21:38
  • 3
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    – MCW
    Apr 22, 2020 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


There is no evidence for any calendar system in India at the time of Ashoka. His inscriptions do not mention any dates. Sometimes historians need to admit that they do not have the answers.

  • 6
    Which historians have you read that claim to have the answer? I'm not aware of any, but this is not an area where I can claim extensive knowledge. I'm aware that some estimates have been made, based on his inscriptions (those don't include dates, but they do name several contemporaries whose dates are known), however historians are generally careful to specify the limits of their knowledge. You might find Ashoka in Ancient India by Nayanjot Lahiri of interest. Apr 22, 2020 at 22:01
  • @fdb Does that mean that no Indian calendar has been discovered for that period or that the Maruyan's simply lacked a calendar? Apr 22, 2020 at 23:21
  • 1
    @JordanTheCynic. Presumably they had some sort of calendar, but it is not mentioned in the inscriptions of that period.
    – fdb
    Apr 22, 2020 at 23:24
  • This answer is not correct.
    – James
    Nov 20, 2022 at 18:48

The Mauryan empire used the Vedic calendar(s), many versions of it, and later the Greco-Indian calendar For more info see: Calendars in India.

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