Dhauligiri Hills


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Bhubaneswar): 12 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Place Location: At Dhauli

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 12 km from Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Dhauligiri Hills is an historical site located on the banks of River Daya in Bhubaneshwar. It is one of the most popular Tourist Places in Bhubaneswar and also one of the important places of heritage in Odisha.

Set in a serene and peaceful environment, Dhauli is well known for its famous rock edicts of Ashoka. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought and won by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 265 BC. It is in these hills that Ashoka adopted the path of dharma after the gruesome Kalinga war. According to the legend, the water of the River Daya turned red with the blood of the deceased in the terrible Kalinga War. When Ashoka saw this he was taken aback and realized the aftermath of a war. After that, He made the principles of dharma as his prime priority.

Later, the King Ashoka made Dhauligiri to be a renowned Buddhist center. The emperor built several chaityas, stupas and pillars in and around Dhauligiri Hills. The noticeable spots at Dhauligiri are the splendid Shanti Stupa and numerous Edicts. As per the ASI excavations, many Rock Edicts like Nos. I-X, XIV and two separate Kalinga Edicts have been found. In Kalinga Edict VI, Ashoka expresses his concern for the 'welfare of the whole world'. Constructed in 3rd century BC, the rock-cut elephant above the Edicts is said to be the oldest rock cut sculpture in India and it symbolizes the birth of Lord Buddha.

Also known as Peace Pagoda, Dauligiri Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist structure built in 1972 jointly by the Japan Buddha Sangh and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh. Situated on the opposite hill of Dhauligiri, the overall structure of the stupa is in the shape of a dome and adorned with speaking stone panels. One can see the Buddha footprints as well as the Bodhi tree over the stone panels. The panels also comprise a sleeping beauty fanned by female attendants, procession on horseback and Emperor Ashoka renouncing war by offering his sword to Lord Buddha at Dhauligiri.

An old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Dhavaleshwar is located beyond the stupa. Saddharma Vihar Monastery, the ancient sculptures and varied extraordinary art forms are also located at the site.

Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM