The Info List - Asandhimitra

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ASANDHIMITRA (d. 240 BCE) also known as ASANDHIMITTā, was the Chief Queen (Agramahisi) of the Mauryan
emperor Ashoka
, for the majority of his reign. Asandhimitra apparently bore her husband no children and died without leaving any issue. She is greatly spoken of in the Great Chronicle or the Mahavamsa .


* 1 Lineage * 2 Marriage to Ashoka
* 3 Death * 4 References


Asandhimitra was probably the princess of a little kingdom in what is now East Haryana
north of Delhi
(India), for it seems more than coincidence that the little town of Asandh boasts what it claims to be the biggest Ashokan stupa in India, 80 ft high and 250 ft in diameter. According to the Mahavamsa, she was called "Asandhimitra" because the joints in her limbs were visible only when she bent or stretched them out. She was also of perfect beauty. However, a more straightforward reading of her name would have been that it means "friend" (mittā) of "detachment" (a-sandhi).


Since Asandhimitra belonged to a royal family, she was considered to be a suitable wife for Prince Ashoka. Therefore, upon Ashoka's accession to the throne in 270 BCE, Asandhimitra became his first queen-consort and was additionally given the honourable title of agramahisi (chief queen). As such, she held many exclusive powers, prominent among which was the authority she had over all of Ashoka's lesser queens and concubines. Asandhimitra held the position of being her husband's chief consort for thirty years, from his accession in 270 BCE till her own death in 240 BCE. Furthermore, she was Ashoka's only wife who was of royal birth.

On Ashoka's accession it would be expected that he would marry a princess of an appropriately high rank as his chief queen, which he may well have done when he married Asandhimitra. Thus, while Ashoka's secondary wives, such as Devi and Karuvaki , lived in his harems situated at Vidisha
and Kausambi
, respectively; Asandhimitra lived with the emperor in the imperial palace at Pataliputra
(the capital of the Maurya Empire