The territory of present Ashoknagar district was part of Chedi kingdom of Shishupal in Mahabharata period and Chedi Janapada in Janapada period. In medieval period was part of Chanderi State. In the 6th century B.C. Chanderi area (territory of Ashoknagar district) was under Avanti, Dasharna and Chedi Janapadas. It was part of Nanda, Maurya, Sunga and Magadh kingdoms. It is believed that the Great Emperor Asoka, while on his trip to conquer Ujjain, had spent one night in Ashoknagar, hence the area been named AshokNagar.