For England offie Dom Bess bagged four wickets, while left armer Jack Leach and medium pacers Jofra Archer and James Anderson claimed two wickets each.
After being bowled out for 337 in their first innings with left hander Washington Sundar scoring his second half century (85 not out, 138 balls, 12x4, 2x6), India, trailing by 241 runs, came back strongly with Ashwin spinning a web around English batsmen with a six wicket haul as the visitors were all out for 178 in 46.3 overs in their second essay on a wearing pitch, that offers good assistance to the spinners.
Ashwin, who claimed six for 61, bagged his 28th five or more wickets haul in 75th match, while left arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem bagged two wickets and fast bowlers Ishant Sharma, who claimed his 300th test scalp, and Jasprit Bumrah sharing the remaining two wickets.
Ishant became the sixth Indian bowler and third fast bowler to enter the 300-club in his 98th match, in which leggie Anil Kumble tops the list with 619 wickets, followed by Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417), R Ashwin (386) and Zaheer Khan (311).
England, despite enjoying a good lead, chose to bat for the second time and in the process lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out setting India a target of 420 runs in a maximum of 107 overs.
First innings double centurion and Skipper Joe Root top scored with 40 (32 balls, 7x4).
In the 13 overs India faced today, the home team lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma (12, 20 balls, 1x4, 1x6), who was bowled by a peach of a delivery from left arm spinner Jack Leach that drifted in.
However, other opener Shubman Gill (15, 35 balls, 3x4) and Cheteswar Pujara (12, 23 balls, 1x4) saw the day without any further loss.
With three full sessions to play for, it would be a tricky chase for India as there was turn and a little bit of uneven bounce, but the pitch was not a minefield by any stretch, while England needed nine wickets to go 1-0 up in the four match series.
Following is the scoreboard:
England (first innings): 578
India (first innings): 337
England (second innings):
Rory Burns c Rahane b Ashwin 0
Dom Sibley c Pujara b Ashwin 16
Dan Lawrence lbw Ishant Sharma 18
Joe Root lbw Jasprit Bumrah 40
Ben Stokes c Pant b Ashwin 7
Ollie Pope c Rohit Sharma b Nadeem 28
Jos Butler st Pant b Nadeem 24
Dom Bess lbw Ashwin 25
Jofra Archer b Ashwin 5
Jack Leach (not out) 8
James Anderson c and b Ashwin 0
Extras: (NB-7) 7
Total: 178 all out in 46.3 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-32, 3-58, 4-71, 5-101, 6-130, 7-165, 8-167, 9-178, 10-178.
R Ashwin 17.3-2-61-6
Shahabaz Nadeem 15-2-66-2
Ishant Sharma 7-1-24-1
Jasprit Bumrah 6-0-26-1
Washington Sundar 1-0-1-0.
India second innings:
Rohit Sharma b Jack Leach 12
Shubman Gill (batting) 15
Cheteswar Pujara (batting) 12
Total: 39 for one in 13 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-25.
Jofra Archer 3-2-13-0
Jack Leach 6-1-21-1
James Anderson 2-1-2-0
Dom Bess 2-0-3-0. (UNI)