January 2, 2016

Dhauli - The Kalinga Baattlefield

Site Name: Dhauli  
Site Type: Baattlefield, historical 
Location:   Near Bhubaneswar city, Odisha state, India
Highlights: The site where one of the most popular battle of India was fought
Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar
Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: There are many options across the city
Restaurants: Varieties of options

It took 250,000 soldiers to sacrifice their lives for the Emperor Ashoka to realize the importance of Ahimsa or non-violence. After the epic battle of Mahabharat, the most talked about battle fought in the lands of India was Kalinga war. Dhauli is the site where the battle of Kalinga took place in 261 BCE

Dhauli is located on the banks of the river Daya, at a distance of 8 kms from Bhubaneswar city in Odisha state of India. It is a hilly area with the adjoining vast open space. 

Ashoka was the Mauryan Emperor who ruled most part of India. He conquered Kalinga. It is not recorded who was ruling Kalinga and faced Ashoka in the battle. It was a major war where around 250,000 soldiers lost their lives. After this war, Ashoka lost interest in the wars. He adopted to Buddhism and started preaching non-violence. All the popular rock edicts of Ashoka were erected only after this battle.

In Dhauli, two separate Ashokan rock edicts are found. In those edicts, the Emperor had expressed his concern for the welfare of the entire world. The rock-cut elephant above the edicts is the earliest Buddhist sculpture found in Odisha state. 

Apart from the edicts, there is a Shanti Stupa Buddhist shrine which was built in the recent time and an ancient Shiva temple are found in Dhauli.

Happy travelling. 

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