Ashoka's Rock Edicts in Shahbaz Gari

A brief history of Shahbaz Gari:

Shahbaz gari is a beautiful place, which is situated between Mardan and Swabi. This place was supposed to be an important meeting place for almost all types of travelers to stay around into serenity and to enjoy the beauty of Shahbaz gari. It is situated near River Indus. Travelers from different places used to stay here on this spot in old times. This is called as the “REST PLACE FOR TIRED TRAVELLERS”. In spring and in summers Shahbaz gari looks very green and fresh and all over its adjacent rural area.
I visited when spring just becomes started so there was less greenery all around. The scenery was not giving very lush look.

In Shahbaz Gari is located two big rocks, which have engraved royal edicts of King Ashoka. One is on the top of the hill and another is on the plain just below the hill.

Ashoka was a well-known Mauryan Emperor of South Asia, who succeeded to the throne in about 274 B.C. He was one of the greatest emperor of India.He used to issue such edicts, which are founded in many places in South Asia.Ashoka’s edicts are scattered in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shahbaz Gari edicts are written in local Kharoshti Script and inscribed on two rocks. The language of these inscriptions is known as Gandhari Prakrit.
Buddhism has greater influence in the life of Ashoka. Though he was enthusiastic Buddhist, yet he was never intolerant towards other religions. He seems to encourage every one to practice his/her own religion.

These edicts are the unique proclamation of moral principles and religious teachings and tolerance. In Shahbaz Gari Ashoka’s edicts emphasis on the

* Sanctity of all beings whether they human or animals.

* Strictly forbidden people from celebrated silly customs and traditions on occasion of sickness, wedding and death etc.

According to these inscriptions, such type of stupid customs and traditions should be changed on the basis of love for all beings.

*Kindness to savants has also been emphasized.

In short, we concluded that these edicts very earnestly convey a very noble message to the people of the code of piety (DHARMA) as enunciated by BUDDHA.

These rock edicts have not been modified and they are presented the way they were craved during that times. I tried to get a zoom in picture of the engraved written material on the rocks but I couldn’t get the clear picture. In some places local people have drawn some useless lines and wrote different English alphabets. I wish that local people did care such type of historical places. Followers of Buddhism use to visit these places. These are historical places for every type of visitors both on national level and also on international level.


  1. Good post about the great cultural heritage of Pakistan. Thanks.
    Can you pls add some driving directions from Islamabad?

    1. Thanks for liking the post. From Islamabad you have to take M2 motorway towards Mardan city through Rashaki interchange, approximately an hour drive from isb, then passing through mardan towards swabi road... a small town named "Shabaz Gari" is located, almost 35 min drive...There You can ask any one about the rock edicts...its near by located...i am not sure about the sign board

      You have to drive through a small street where houses on both side to get finally to the small hill where the rock is situated :)


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