Dhauli Giri Hills is located on the bank of the Daya River.
It is approximately 8 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, Odisha; however, it is considered a part of the city and one of its major tourist attractions.
These hills, surrounded by plains, forests, and the Daya River, house the beautiful monument of Dhauli Shanti Stupa.
This eye-catching white dome-shaped stupa is a clear symbol of peace and spirituality in the city.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Dhauli Shanti Stupa,
Let’s see each of these points in detail.
How to reach Dhauli Shanti Stupa
Bhubaneswar is well-connected through regular flights and trains to all major cities in India.
Local buses, private cabs, and auto rickshaws frequently run between the airport, Railway Station, and Dhauli Giri Road.
Dhauli Giri Hills is 9.9 kilometers from Biju Patnaik International Airport, and it takes about 25 minutes to get there.
The Bhubaneswar Railway Station, on the other hand, is approximately 9.7 kilometers from the Dhauli Giri hills, and it takes nearly 24 minutes to reach.
If you want to travel from Puri, you can include this place in your sightseeing tour. It is often listed as one of the famous places near Puri.
The architecture of Dhauli Shanti Stupa
The stupa’s overall structure is shaped like a dome. Over the stone panels, you can see Buddha’s footprints as well as the Bodhi tree (a large and sacred fig tree).
You can also see an image of Ashoka holding his sword of war in front of Lord Buddha with an elephant and horseback procession, and various Buddhist anthems implying that he had given up the idea of war entirely.
There are some amazing stone carvings of Lord Buddha in different postures along with a relaxing posture.
Dharma chakra was used as decoration in Buddhist temples, statues, and inscriptions.
History of Dhauli Shanti Stupa
The Kalinga War took place in 262 B.C. between the Mauryan Empire and the Kalinga kingdom (states of Kalinga). Kalinga controlled all of Southeast Asia’s trade routes. As a result, Ashoka, the Mauryan king, desired to rule over Kalinga and he leads his massive army to it.
Despite winning the war, he recognized its futility. The legendary king of the great Maurya dynasty looked down from above the vast expanse of the Kalinga battlefield, which was littered with bodies after a fierce battle. He witnessed the bloodshed and suffering of the families of the soldiers and vowed never to fight again. The sight of the destruction was quite heartbreaking.
Even after a victory, the sight of the war’s devastation and death horrified him and led to his transformation. He became a Buddhist and dedicated his entire life to assisting his followers. He abandoned the conquest and left inscriptions for his son and grandson, telling them not to think about war.
He decided to practice Dhamma. Dhamma means “to uphold,” and it was completely based on the Buddha’s actions and teachings.
Ashoka devoted his energy, which he had previously spent on winning battles and fighting, to spiritual pursuits. He became a Buddhist and a follower of Buddha’s preachings and began living a sober, solemn, simple, and devoid of luxury life.
He also considered the futility of wars, which only bring destruction, death, and misery to humanity. Because of this thought, the Great Warrior became a Buddhist and spent his entire life spreading Buddha’s teachings, first in Odisha and then all over the world.
Carvings of an elephant emerging from the rock mark the spot where Ashoka’s heart and thoughts were transformed. It is the oldest rock-cut sculpture in India, dating back to the third century B.C. This represents the birth of Buddha and the rise of Buddhism.
The king also carved the narrative history of India on cliff rocks, pillars, and caves. It implies that there were two administrative headquarters in the ruling area. On the stones were instructions for his administrators on how to govern his subjects
Things to do in Dhauli Shanti Stupa
There are a lot of things to do in Peace Pagoda,
- Witness the beautiful dazzling monument of the stupa.
- Meditate in the peaceful atmosphere of the stupa.
- Explore the different historical artifacts and relics to know more about Buddhism.
- Dive into the historical past of King Ashoka.
- Visit the monastery and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the place.
- Experience the panoramic view of Bhubaneshwar and the picturesque Daya River.
Kalinga Dhauli Mahotsav
The main festival at Dhauli Giri Hills is the Kalinga Dhauli Mahotsav. It takes place every year in February.
The Odisha Tourism Department organizes this three-day festival. The festival is well-known for its classical dance, classical music, and martial art dance performances.
This event features renowned dancers, musicians, and over 500 performance artists from across the country.
Other attractions near Dhauli Shanti Stupa
A monastery known as the Saddharma Vihar Monastery is located near this stupa and is frequently visited by Buddhist devotees.
A short distance from the Shanti Stupa is the Dhavaleshwar temple, which was renovated in 1972 and is popular with both Hindu and Buddhist devotees.
These are some of the things you should know about the Dhauli Shanti Stupa.
So if you are planning to visit Bhubaneshwar or Puri, plan a trip to this place, especially during this special festival!
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