Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa) atop the Dhauli HillAs soon as I reached the Dhauli hill, I quickly ascended the hill to reach its summit where a magnificent white Peace Pagoda (Shanti Stupa) stands. It was built in the 1970s under the aegis of Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. Adjacent to the Dhauli Stupa is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. At the foot of the hill are Ashokan rock edicts carved after the war. The edicts depict the regret expressed by Ashoka for waging war against the kingdom of Kalinga and also his assurance to rule the conquered kingdom in accordance with the principles of his new faith, Buddhism.
The Ashokan Rock EdictsAs I walked down the hill and through the surrounding green fields, I found it hard to believe if this place abounds with peace is truly the setting for such a fierce battle once upon a time in the past.