Majjhima (the Himalayan region), Sona and Uttara (Suvarnabhumi), and
Mahinda (Lanka).
    The word yona (generally used to indicate a Greek) preceding the name
of Dhammarakkhita suggests a non-Indian monk, possibly Greek or Persian.
But it seems strange that he should be sent to Aparantaka on the western
coast of India, while Maharakkhita was sent to the Yona area. Yona appears
to refer to the Indo-Greek settlements of the north-west, though it would
seem, from the reference to Tusaspa (Asoka’s governor) in the Junagarh
inscription of Rudradaman, that there might have been a foreign settlement of
Persians or Greeks in western India.
    Asokan inscriptions, particularly Major Rock Edict II, refer to the
southernmost kingdoms, viz. Cholas, Pandyas, Satyaputras and Keralaputras,
as the prachamta (border) states, and clearly distinguish them from the vijita
or raja-vishaya (imperial dominions). So, these states probably continued to
remain outside the Mauryan territory, but maintained friendly relations with
the Mauryas.
    According to tradition (Kalhana’s Rajatarangini), Kashmir was a part of
the Mauryan empire and Asoka built the city of Srinagar. Khotan in Central
Asia was also supposed to have come under Mauryan sway, and the Tibetan
sources even refer to Asoka’s visit to the region. Even if Khotan did not
actually form a part of the Mauryan empire, friendly relations between the
two cannot be discounted. The Mauryas had close connections with the area
of modem Nepal, since the Himalayan foothills were within the Mauryan
empire. One of Asoka’s daughters is said to have married a noble from
    The Ceylonese tradition furnishes ample indication of the extremely close
relationship existing between the Mauryas and Ceylon, whose ruler, Tissa,
appears to have modelled himself on Asoka. The Mauryan emperor sent his
son (Mahendra) and daughter (Sanghamitra) as Buddhist missionaries to
Ceylon, besides sending a branch of thee original pipal tree under which the
Buddha had received enlightenment (it is claimed to be surviving till today in
Ceylon, though the parent tree in India was destroyed in the seventh century
AD supposedly by Sasanka of Gauda).
    Asoka, in his Major Rock Edict XIII, mentions many of his
contemporaries in the Hellenic    world with whom he exchanged missions,