Dhauli ( ଧଉଳି )

Description : Dhauli hills ( ଧଉଳିଗିରି) are located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Odisha . It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill. Dhauli has major edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock. It is presumed to be the area of the bloody battle of Kalinga, won by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 265 BC. Although he conquered, but the horrors of having killed over thousands of people and the misery it inflicted on the people filled Ashoka with regret and brought about a sudden change of heart. He gave up his ambition of dig-vijaya (military conquest) in favour of dharma-vijay (spiritual conquest).

The great Mauryan king renounced the path of violence to embrace Buddhism and publicized his new maxims in rock edicts, installed in different parts around the empire. One of these is here at the base of Dhauli hills, in which he proclaims, 'All men are my children', and expresses his concern to ensure impartially, non-violence, justice and compassion, an inscription in ancient brahmi script. The elephant which emerges from the rock above the inscription was probably meant to draw attention to the edict, and to serve as a symbol. Elephants are frequently associated with the Buddha, either as the form in which he is believed to have entered his mother's womb, as the form the Buddha assumed in a previous incarnation, or as the sacred symbol of Buddhism itself.

He saw to it that Dhauli became an important centre of Buddhist activities. He built several chaityas, stupas and pillars. On the top of the hill, a dazzling white peace pagoda has been built by the Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha in the 1970s. The Dhauligiri hills also has an ancient Shiva temple which is the place for mass gathering during Shiva Ratri Celebrations.


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