The Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha built the beautiful shanti stupa- Dhauligiri – in 1972 to commemorate the mission of peace that the Kalinga war achieved.
About the Kalinga War
No mention of Dhauligiri is complete without a brief anecdote on the Kalinga War, recorded as one of the bloodiest conflict in the annals of history.
What makes it unique is the message that it propagated in the aftermath. According to noted historian Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra- “The political history of mankind in reality is a history of wars and no war has ended with so successful a mission of peace for the entire war-torn humanity as the war of Kalinga”.
The reason for Ashoka invading Kalinga were primarily a couple of things – Kalinga then was a prosperous region. They were the first to initiate trade and commerce in foreign lands such as Indonesia, Borneo etc, the people lived in an organised society which followed an open culture and uniform code, it was a treasure trove for art and artefacts. Secondly it was a land of valour and none other than Chandragupta Maurya had failed to annex Kalinga to the Mauryan Empire.
Historically Odisha or Kalinga as it was known then was a feudal republic – the land of fiercely independent and valiant tribesmen who ruled over designated territories
Sadly there has been no historical mention of the leader who led the Feudal Republic of Kalinga against Ashoka. This irony is what also extends to the history of Odisha, even today so little is known.
The war is believed to have been fought in 261 BC . It has been recorded that the Daya River which flowed near the battlefield had turned red due to the blood of the slain soldiers. Approximate estimates put the number of dead Kalinga warriors to 1,50,000 and that of the Mauryan soldiers at 1, 00,000, with many more maimed and injured.
Inscriptions in Udaygiri caves and literature point to the fact that even women and teenagers took up the sword to defend their motherland against the invading Mauryans
Things to Do
Apart from undertaking a relaxing trek across the hillock of Dhauli, Odisha Tourism conducts a light and sound show every evening. The show is conducted in Odia,Hindi and English. The timings are 7.00 pm and 7.45 pm during the summers and 6.00 pm and 6.45 pm during the winters.
The show speaks of the bravery and glory of the Kalinga Empire and the transformation of emperor Ashoka. Renowned actors Mr. Bijay Mohanty, Late Mr. Om Puri and Mr. Kabir Bedi have lent their voice for the Odiya, Hindi & English version of the show respectively.
It’s a ticketed show – Entry fee for adults – Rs 25/- per person and for kids below 15 years of age – Rs.15/- per child.
Apart from the beautiful Dhauli Shanti Stupa, the Dhauli hillock has a couple of other sites, worth a visit.
Ashokan Rock Edicts
Kalinga Nippon Monastery
Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav