For the knowledge of the history of the reign of Ashoka the sources can be divided into two classes. As for example the two can be named as literary sources, and archaeological sources.
Sinhali texts, 'Dipavamsa' and 'Mahavamsa', 'Dtvyavandan' by Buddha Ghosh, 'Ashokavadanmala','Arya-manju-sri-mula-kalpa', 'puran', 'Rajtaringini' are the main literary works which give us valuable detailed information about the reign of Ashoka. Moreover, the writings of Chinese travellers Fabian, Huen tsang and Itsing add some more knowledge about Ashoka as well.
Ashoka's own inscriptions are the most important archeological source to know the history of his period. Ashoka issued these inscriptions for the propagation of 'Dtiamma.' Girinar inscription of Rudradharama Nagajuni Guha inscription etc. throw a great light on the history of Ashoka.