Lord Buddha used to preach here. His preaching's were so strong that King Ashoka renounced war and embraced Buddhism.
Situated on the banks of the Daya river and at about eight kilometres from Bhubaneshwar, Dhauli is the place where the gory Kalinga war was fought in 261 B.C. Today, Dhauli doesn’t look gory at all. Instead, it is a picture of greenery, peace and serenity.
The Peace Pagoda built by the Japanese Buddhist Sangha stands tall on a hill and overlooks the entire Dhauli plain. This peace pagoda houses various statues of Lord Buddha and visually depicts stories of the Kalinga War and King Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism.
Dhauli hill has major edicts of King Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.
The Dhauli edicts are written in the Prakrit language using the Brahmi script. It is here that Emperor Ashoka declared his doctrine of paternalism, accepting all men as his children, urging his administrators at Toshali to work for the welfare of Kalinga.
One can also get excellent view of the plains of the Daya river where the Kalinga war was fought from the top of the Dhauli Hill. A lot of ‘speaking’ stone panels adorn the peace pagoda. These include the reclining Buddha, an elephant procession, the Bodhi tree, footprints of Buddha bearing the chakra (wheel), a sleeping beauty fanned by female attendants, procession on horse back, and Emperor Ashoka renouncing war by offering his sword to Lord Buddha at Dhaulagiri Hill.
Dhauli Hill and the Peace Pagoda let one get a glimpse of India’s and Buddhism’s history and also allows one to admire nature’s beauty here.