After the trip to the beautiful and architectural wonder of the Udayagiri rock cut caves, I went to visit another historical landmark of Bhubaneswar, the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa. The stupa is located on the banks of river Daya and is about 8 kilometres from the city of Bhubaneswar. The stupa is located on ahillock between the Puri to Bhubaneswar route.
As the name suggests the Shanti stupa due to its serene and calm surroundings and atmosphere is also known as the Buddhist Peace Pagoda. This is one of the few places with no entray fees and even cameras were allowed inside the monument free of cost.
The structure was formed in the year 1972 as collaboration between Indo Japan Buddhist followers. Dhauli is believed to be the place where the deadly Kalinga War was fought and as a result after the war, it is said that river Daya which flows nearby turned red due to blood of the dead. The emperor Ashoka realized the horror of war and made sure that Dhauli beaceme and important site of peaceful Buddhist activities. This legend is both sad and ironic that a King realised the horror of war only after seeing thousands of dead bodies.
The stone panels are constructed to adorn the monument. The main stone panels are decorated with the Bodhi tree, a reclining Buddha and the event of renouncement of Kingship by Ashok by offering his sword to Buddha at Dhauli is also portrayed on the stone panels. There are other historical sites too which are located at the vicinity of this majestic structure. The Saddhanand Vihar Monastery and a famous Hindu temple also formed in 1972 lies near the Dhaulagiri Shanti Stupa.
The trip to Dhaulagiri Shanti Stupa was very nice. The place is a must visit for all those who come to Bhubaneswar. It is well connected with buses, auto rickshaws and taxis. The place is a reminder for all those who believe in violence. It is the place where one of the greatest kings of Indian subcontinent renounced his kingdom realizing the horrors and tragedies of War.
My final place of visit after Dhaulagiri Shanti Stupa was the Museums of Tribal Arts and Artefacts.