One of the countries to which Asoka sent missionaries after the Third Council. The leader of the mission was Yonaka Dhammarakkhitta (Mhv.xii.5; Dpv.viii.7). He preached to the people the Aggikkhandopamā Sutta and 37,000 people embraced the new faith, a thousand men and even more women entering the Order (Mhv.xii.34-6; Sp.i.67).
The country comprises the territory of Northern Gujarat, Kāthiāwar, Kachch and Sindh. Fleet J.R.A.S. 1910, p.427; Bhandarkar in his Early History of Dekkan puts it in North Konkan (p.23); see also Burgess: Arch. Reports ii.131.
According to Hsouien Thsang, the country seems to comprise Sindh, Western Rājaputāna, Cutch, Gujarat and a portion of the adjoining coast on the lower bank of the Narmadā. Cunningham Anct. Geog. of India, notes, p.690; and Law: Early Geography 56ff.
Probably Buddhism was known in Aparanta during the time of the Buddha himself. Dutt: Early Hist. of Bsm. p.190; Dvy., pp.45ff; but the reference is to Sunāparanta.
It is said that when Mandhātā brought all the four continents under his sway people from the three other continents came over to Jambudīpa and lived there. When the king died they found themselves unable to get back, and begged his minister to allow them to start settlements in Jambudīpa itself. He agreed, and the settlement of those who had come from Aparagoyāna was for that reason called Aparanta (DA.ii.482; MA.i.184) (Aparantaka).