Popular Buddhist Centre of Odisha: Dhauli Shanti Stupa


In this article I have explain about the Dhauli of Bhubaneswar, its geographical location, the mute witness of Kalingawar and the transformation of Great Ashoka, the special weakness of Ashoka for it, the monuments with two roock edicts, the chaityas, stupas and pillars constructed by Ashoka and the construction of the famous white pagoda and Lord Dhabaleswar temple on the hill top

Dhauli is situated at a distance of 8kms from the capital. Dhauli hill on the bank of the river Daya is a little away from the main roads as one drives to Puri from Bhubaneswar. It stands as a mute witness to the gruesome Kalinga war that changes the course of history. The Daya River is said to have turned red with the blood of people. Emperor Ashoka felt a change of heart after witnessing the blood and the Kalinga war led to the miraculous transformation of Emperor Ashoka from Chandashoka to Dharmashoka. Ashoka seeing the horrs of war changed his mind in favour of spiritual consequents in preference to his war exploits. It was here in 261BC, after the war the great Ashoka embraced Budhism and became one of the chief architects for propagating the religion in far off countries outside India.

To carry the message to the masses, he engraved 14number of rock edicts throughout India.Out of that two are in Odisha, one is at Dhauli and the other is at Jaugarh. The nearby region also has Ashokan edicts and possibly a Stupa at Bhaskareshwar temple at Tankapani road as argued by scholars. Dhauli is famous for its Buddhist monuments. The monument with two special rocks edicts of Ashoka is much south after among the Buddhists across the world. The Ashokan edicts are in Brahmi script and Prakrit language, and are on the fore front of a rock-cut elephant. The rock edicts found here includes no's ItoX and XIV along with two separate Kalinga edicts. Ashoka in Kalinga edict VI expressed his view for the "Welfare of the Kalinga and the world".

Ashoka had a special weakness for Dhauil. He had constructs several here. He had explained the principle of Dandaniti for the administration of his new kingdom.

Dhauli came to be recognised as an important centre of Buddhist heritage in the 3rd century BC. A Buddhist monastery namely Arghyaka Varatika, was existing herein 9th century AD. In 1972, Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sanghaunder the guidance of Guruji Fujii , the founder and president of Japan Budha Sangha built a dazzling white peace pagoda on the hilltop, which is popularly called as Viswa Shanti Stupa. A modern Buddhist monastery called Saddharma Bihar also established there. For the Hindus Lord Shiva temple known as Dhavaleswar on the top of the hill also renovated on the same year. The Ashokan edicts, peace of pagoda, historical Daya River, modern Buddhist monastery and the Dhavaleswar temple attracts thousands of tourists annually.

There is a series of small hills enclosing many rock-cut monuments for which Dhauli is also known as Surabha. Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udayagiri are the three hill top complexes and seats of Buddhist monasteries. Dhauli continued to be a living shrine of Buddhism in modern Odisha as well.

On the outskirts of the modern capital, Dhauli emerges from the placid green countryside amidst a tranquil setting of paddy fields. A black topped road meanders from the Bhubaneswar-Puri National Highway to Dhauli. The witness of Kalinga war Daya River flows through small villages of Khurda. On one side the Chanting of Buddhist hymns and on other side the Saiva Stotra is the speciality of Dhauli. The hilltop also provides a panoramic view of the Temple City Bhubaneswar. The beautiful rural landscape, the old monuments, the peace of pagoda, the temple of Lord Shiva on the hilltop and the winding Daya River makes Dhauli as a heaven for the nature lovers.

Dhauli should be a must in the travel plan of any visitor coming to Odisha.


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