The 3rd century saw extension of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s rule over Saurashtra as attested to by his famous fourteen rock edicts at Girnar, Junagarh. Ashoka, The Great (273-232 B.C.), chose the slopes of the Girnar (or Urjayanta) hill, and got his fourteen rock - edicts engraved on the north-east face of a granite boulder at the foot of the hill. Besides these rock-edicts, the same boulder was also contains two more inscriptions of two other illustrious rulers of ancient Indian history, namely && Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman (130-150 A.D.) and Skandagupta (455 – 467 A.D.). All these inscriptions were first reported by Tod in 1822 A.D.
Composed in western dialect, probably in ‘Ujjaini’ and engraved in ‘Brahmi’ script, these fourteen rock-edits of Ashoka variously record royal orders against slaughter of animals; facilities for medical treatment to man and animal; promulgation of royal dharma comprising respect to parents, economy in cost of living, kindness to animals, etc.; transparency in public work; caring for all communities; avoiding extremes in anything; preference to visiting the aged and holy spots over hunting, etc.; courtesy to elders; following righteous path of living; practicing true detachment; exercising restraint of speech; following the policy of forbearance and so on and so forth.
The other two inscriptions of later rulers, amongst other things, also record the storm water of the river of Suvaran-Sukta and Palasini rushing down to the hill slopes and periodically damaging the dam of the famous lake, called ‘Sudarshan’ lake. They together provide the history of the dammed lake – its original construction and restoration caused by Vaishya Pushyagupta and Suvishka, the local officials under Chandragupta Maurya (323 – 295 B.C.), and Ashoka; and later by Parnadatta, the provincial governor under Skandagupta, with the help of his son, Chakrapalita.