Introduction on Dhauligiri: The Peace Pagoda
Bhubaneswar is a historical city. It witnessed many historical events and still it has many historical monuments which are expressing about those historical events. Bhubaneswar is surrounded with many temples and historical places. Among these, Shanti Stupa or Dhauligiri's place is more significant which stands beside Daya River. This represents and tells us about the braveness of Kalinga worriers, who were sacrificed their lives to protect their motherland. Similarly it represents the power of non violence, where a cruel king Chandashoka converted into Dharmashoka, a simple and peace loving person.
Dhauligir: How to reach this place?
Dhauligiri is situated just 10 KM away from Bhubaneswar main city on the side of Puri – Cuttack road side. If you move towards Puri, then you can reach Dhauligiri just after crossing the Daya River bridge on the right side of the road. The white coloured tomb is clearly visible from long distance. You can reach Bhubaneswar by train or Aeroplane. It is well connected with the other cities of India as it is the state capital city of state Odisha. After reaching Bhubaneswar you can reserve a taxi to visit Dhauligiri. State buses are also there to reach this historical place but their frequencies are very low.
The Historical background of Dhauligiri
As we know Shanti Stupa or Dhauligiri has a very significant importance in the world tourism because of its strong historical background. It represents the history of 262 B.C or the Mauryan Empire and about the king Ashoka the great. King Ashoka's empire was extended upto Mysore in south and from Baluchistan to Bangladesh in the east. It is the state Kalinga (Odisha) was not belonged to his kingdom. In 262 B.C. King Ashoka invaded Kalinga with an army of several lakhs. The peace loving people of Kalinga won't fear about it. Though it had not a large army like Ashoka, its farmers were prepared themselves to give strong resistant to Ashoka. In this way several lakhs of Kalinga people resisted Ashoka to protect their motherland. A fierce war was fought between them. The fight was fought near Dhauli, beside the Daya river. More than one lakh people killed in the battlefield, even the water of the Daya River turned into red because of the flow of blood of brave worriers of Kalinga.
The king Ashoka won the battle. A Buddhist monk who observed the cruel nature of king, moved close to the king. He asked, "King Ashoka, you have killed more than one lakh people to just enlarge your empire. The colour of the river water changed into red because of blood of these brave worriers. What did you gained by these? Can you able to give life to one dead soldier?" The words created a great impact on his mind. He realized the mistake he had made. Ashoka became repentant with deep remorse and immediately he took a vow not to fight any war. He became a follower of Buddhism and remained a peace loving king throughout his life. Buddhist monk Upagupta played a major role to change this king into Dharmashoka. On the bank of the Daya River, he built many monuments on the hill Dhauli. Dhauligiri represents the win of non violence over violence. This soil changed a cruel king into a peace loving king.
A Description on historical place of Odisha Dhauligiri
Shanti Stupa, the white tomb situated on the small hills of Dhauligiri. As it is white in colour and represents world peace, so it is also known as "Peace Pagoda". This monument, Shanti Stupa was built by Japan Buddhist Sangh and the Government of Odisha in 1971-72. Four statues of Goutam Buddha in different postures are present in four different direction of Shanti Stupa. Two of in meditation form, one standing and another in sleeping posture statues are present. On the walls of the Shanti Stupa, information about the Kalinga war is inscribed in the form of statues or images. On the four directions four pair of yellow coloured lion statues is there. From the above you can easily see the Daya River which was witnessed the Kalinga war.
The most important thing in the Dhauli, which is able to attract more tourists from other countries are the edicts of Ashoka. These edicts were remained undiscovered and hidden for many decades from the people. In 1837-38, these edicts were discovered by Lieut. M. Kittoe and for the first time, these were deciphered by James Princep.
The rock edicts of Ashoka, which are present in Dhauli were written in Magadhi Prakrita Language and the early Brahmi script was used for it. Similar Rock Edicts of Ashoka is also seen at the Jaugada, which was present near Kabisurya Nagar in Ganjam district of Odisha.
Dhauligiri: Summary of the famous Rack Edicts of Ashoka
In all major Rock Edicts of Ashoka contains all fourteen Edicts, but in Dhauligiri Rock Edicts and Jaugada Rock Edicts, Edict No. XI, XII, XIII are missing.
The entire Rock edicts are arranged in three distinct columns. The first column, which contains twenty six lines, expressed about the special Rock Edict – I. The middle column, which contains thirty three lines, contains the general edicts from I to VI; the final column, the first part explains the general Rock Edicts VII to X and XIV, the second part explains about the special rock edict – II.
The Rock Edicts are started with Ashoka's famous doctrine of paternalism: "All men are my children"
While the Special Rock Edict – I, addressing the Mahamatras of Toshali, Ashoka proclaims that all his subjects are just like his own children and he wishes their welfare and happiness
In the Special Rock Edict – II, he ordered the Mahamatras of Toshali to assure his piety to the unconquered border territories of forest region (Atavikas)
Now Odisha State Government developed a garden around this historical place, which is known as Shanti Park.
Other nearby historical places at Dhauligiri
More articles: Tourist Spots in Odisha