Legends says that Kaurwaki was daughter of a fisher man. It is said that she led an army of females against Ashoka, after Kalinga had no males left to defend it. Unlike as depicted in some texts and movies, Kaurwaki was forcibly taken by Ashoka, who was struck by her mesmerising beauty, and was made his wife.She converted to Buddhism and became Ashoka's 1st wife. She was immortalised in the Queen Edict which was one of the minory rock edicts erected by Ashoka. The edict identifies her as the second queen of Ashoka and mother to Tivala. Legend also tells of a daughter born to Ashoka who died not long after birth named Jo-sanne, born after Tivala (the origin of her name is unknown but said by some to be given by a Kalingan priest who had envisioned her birth and name). She is still venerated in parts of the Kalinga district as an immortal princess- protector of her father's throne.
In popular culture
In the Bollywood film Asoka, Kaurwaki is depicted as being an orphan princess from Kalinga, and leads an army against Asoka's invasion.