Located 8 km south of Bhubaneswar
, Dhauli is the site of a set of rock edicts left by the Indian emperor Ashoka
in 260 B C. He was the Mauryan
emperor who renounced his blood thirsty campaign of war and destruction and started following Buddha
ís teachings and austere ways of leading life.
Carvings of the head and forelegs of an elephant emerging from the rock, marks the oldest rock-cut sculpture in India (3rd century B C). It is believed to be the spot where Ashoka underwent a change of heart and total transformation. Rock edicts at the bottom hill (260 B C) urge his administrators to rule the land with justice and compassion. Even after 2000 years the inscriptions on these rocks are remarkably clear. Another attraction worth mentioning is the Shanti Stupa or the peace pagoda, an Indo-Japanese collaboration located on the opposite hill.
There are regular bus services connecting Dhauli with Bhubaneswar.