Ashoka the Great (2001)
"Asoka" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  26 October 2001 (India)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 9,817 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 31 critic

The Epic tale of King Asoka's life.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kaurwaki (as Karriena Kapoor)
Rahul Dev ...
Gerson Da Cunha ...
King Bindusara (as Gerson da' Cunha)
Subhashini Ali ...
Dharma (as Subhashini)
Umesh Mehra ...
Emperor Chadragupta
Sooraj Balaji ...
Prince Aryan
Johnny Lever ...
Magadha Soldier
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Magadha Soldier
Suresh Menon ...
Magadha Soldier
Ajith Kumar ...
Shilpa Mehta ...
Queen - Susima's Mother (as Shilpa A. Mehta)
Rajlaxmi R. Roy ...
Bar Girl (Aa Tayar Ho Ja)


Prince Ashoke (Shahrukh Khan), heir to the Magadha Kingdom, bowing to his mother's (Shilpa Mehta) demand forsakes his princely status and goes to live in the wild for awhile. There he meets and falls in love with Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor). He identifies himself as Pawan, not wanting to disclose his identity yet. Ashoke has to return to Magadha, but when he returns to find and wed Kaurwaki, he is told by Bheema (Rahul Dev) that Kaurwaki and her brother Arya have been killed. Devastated Ashoke returns home. On the way home he is attacked and Devi (Hrishitaa Bhatt), of the Buddhist faith rescues him and tends to him till he gets well. As a result, Devi's marriage to her groom is cancelled. Ashoke weds her and brings her to Magadha, only to be told by his father that since Devi is not of the same race as he, she cannot be welcomed. Ashoke leaves with Devi and lives in Ujjaini. Soon Devi gets pregnant, and this arouses jealously and hatred amongst Ashoke's step-brothers. As a result they ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only the dead have seen the end of war.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 October 2001 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Ashoka the Great  »

Box Office


INR 130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£235,461 (UK) (26 October 2001)


£503,408 (UK) (9 November 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(International) | (uncut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shah Rukh Khan wanted Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to be cast in the role of Kaurwaki. However, the director, Santosh Sivan, wanted to cast an actress with whom he hadn't already been paired in a leading role. Shahrukh also recommended Sushmita Sen to play the singing dancer in the bar. See more »


References Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) See more »


Aa Tayar Ho Hoja
Written by Gulzar
Composed by Anu Malik
Performed by Sunidhi Chauhan
Courtesy of Sony Music India
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific legend; very well made film
16 August 2004 | by (Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

It's really hard for me to evaluate Indian films. Although they appeal to me, I live in a world totally alien to theirs. What I see as a film being interrupted by unnecessary music videos, they might see as the marriage of two vibrant, vital aspects of their culture.

That said, Asoka is a film that I enjoyed very much. The story is epic, complex, and deeply layered, and it almost had me crying in the end (VERY few films can do this). The cast is fantastic, and they did an excellent job. The costumes and the sets were equally great. It's runtime is at 2 hours 45 minutes, but I was left hoping it was going to go a little bit longer. I wanted to know what happened to Davi, and I wanted to learn a few things from Asoka's latter days --when he embarked on his journey towards peace.

This film is great, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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