One of the important Buddhist destinations in India, Dhauli Hill is situated near Daya River, in the Khurda district of Orissa. It lies at a distance of approximately 8 km from the city of Bhubaneshwar. Dhauli hill holds the distinction of being the place where Emperor Ashoka renounced war and embraced Buddhism. The edicts of Ashoka, preserved here, serve as the perfect proof of the change of his heart. In his edicts, he has asked his administrators to govern with fairness and empathy. On the top of the rock edicts stands a chiseled elephant, the universal symbol of Lord Buddha.
Dhauli Hills, sited in India, also boast of a Shanti Stupa (the peace
pagoda), situated on the opposite hill. Built through the Indo-Japanese
collaboration, it has interesting legend attached to it. Japanese
believe that almost seven centuries ago Mahatma Nichiren Imaha Bhikshu
predicted that Fuji Guruji, the chief priest of Nipponzan Myohoji would
come to India in 1930 from Mt. Minobu, the original holy place of the
Nichiren sect. The prophecy came true, he came to India and got the
Shanti Stupa built.
A round edifice, the stupa is domed on top with mushroom-like
structures. 'Speaking' stone panels, adorn the Shanti Stupa. The main
stone panels comprise of 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.
The other major attractions of Dhauli Hill include Saddharma Vihar
monastery, the ancient sculptures and the some very extraordinary art
forms. Then, there are rock cut caves and a number of small Hindu
temples, dating to the medieval age. Beautiful landscapes and scenic
beauty of Dhauli further adds to its appeals.
How to reach Dhauli Hill
The nearest airport is that of Bhubaneshwar, which is well connected to
major cities of India.
The railway station nearest to Dhauli is also that of Bhubaneshwar.
One can easily get buses, rented taxis and auto rickshaws for Dhauli,
Bhubaneshwar - Approximately 8 km