To a keen bystander of history and historic battles, Dhauli could be a captivating place for holidaying. Situated on the bank of river Daya and 8Kms away from the south of Bhubaneswar, Dhauli is a miniature hillside filled with the historic saga of one such phenomenal battle fought in Indian history. This small place of Odisha is also known as Dhauligiri, and best remembered as the terrain where ages back in 265BC the Mauryan emperor Ashoka’s character was completely transformed after the bloody battle of Kalinga. The intense of this battle reached a new feat of annihilation when the water of river Daya completely turned red with blood. This was the only historic war fought by the Great Ashoka after his accession to throne. It is said that having observed the blood of the many deceased after the battle of Kalinga, Ashoka immediately adopted Buddhism in search of peace and serenity. Ashoka realised the lethal impact of the violence and thus had a weakness for this place in particular, which led him further to set up many stupas, chaityas and pillars in Dhauli. This is the reason you will come to see many Ashoka edicts and significant followers of Lord Buddha in Dhauli.
If the historic tale cited above gets you goosebumps, believe me Dhauli has many such exciting sites that will make your voyage to this place more beguiling. Let’s have a look into some of the key tourist attractions in and around Dhauli:
#Dhauli Shanti Stupa
This is a tranquil pagoda and one of the key attractions to Buddha followers across the country. Built in 1970 by Kalinga Nippon Buddha stupa, the white structure of Dhauli Shanti Stupa exhibits a brilliant carving around it. One more interesting fact about this pagoda is that the set up of Dhauli Shanti Stupa was done in collaboration with Japan Buddha Sangha. Two erected pillars in the entry with two lions standing on it at the top welcome the visitors to this majestic pagoda. The white structure of this popular pagoda is roofed with a dome with some eye-catching artworks on it. Some of the most electrifying details carvings that grab the attention of most of the visitors here are elephant’s march, recline Buddha, and monarch Ashoka offering his sword to lord Buddha.
#Ashoka Rock Edicts
Having said the weakness that Ashoka had for this place, Dhauli has several rock edicts depicting the axioms of King Ashoka. The Edicts of Ashoka are basically an array of several inscriptions on the pillars, rocks and caves, which were set up by the Mauryan Empire during his sovereignty. All of these edicts proclaim diverse expressions of the great king including welfare, serenity and Buddhist philosophy. In addition, the beautiful carvings and inscriptions on a mass of rock reflects King’s message where the king has proclaimed himself as the “Beloved servant of the Gods”. In one of these edicts there is a spot from where you will come to see an elephant is emerging out from the rock. For history lovers, visiting Ashoka Rock Edicts is an amazing way of exploring the momentous side of India. Many students, scholars and analysts often flock this historic site for undergoing their research activities.
# Temple of Dhabaleswar and Bahirangeswar
Situated around 35Kms away from Dhauli, the structure of Dhabaleswar temple was dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. Thus, Dhabaleswar temple experiences several footfalls of Hindu devotees across the country. Recent overhaul of this ancient construction made it appear more picturesque and serene. Besides, there is one more ancient shrine called Bahirangeswar, which has been carrying the tale of its long existence since the medieval period.
#Bda City Centre
After spending a remarkable time with the historic sites, there is a thrilling amusement park located within 30Kms from Dhauli. Bda City Centre offers you lot of fun with its various adventurous rides. This park is one of the key attractions to the youths. Keeping in mind the feel of people from different ages, this park has a blend of thrilling rides including cable car ride, boating, roller coaster, water slide and many more. Bda City Centre is open throughout the week from 11.30AM to 8PM. The entry fee is INR 150 per person for all the rides. From Dhauli, visitors can hire private taxi to reach Bda City Centre. All in all, Bda City Centre is an amazing place to visit during your trip to the land of Kalinga war.
#Nandan Kanan National Park
Located around 8Kms away from Dhauli and around 20Kms ahead of Bhubaneswar, Nandan Kanan National Park is a popular tourist puller site in Odisha. Established in 1960, this park is also known as Nandankanan Zoological Park, which houses several endangered flora and fauna. A part from viewing some scarce species of animals like lion, Nilgiri langur, crocodiles, and Indian pangolin, one can also experience here some enthralling activities such as boating, safaris, ropeways, cable car ride and bird watching. Nandankanan is open from 7.30AM to 5.30PM (April to September) and from 8AM to 5PM (October to March). However, the park and garden remains closed on Monday. You will get regular buses and private cars to reach Nandankanan from Bhubaneswar and other important cities of Odisha. Thus, visiting Nandan Kanan National Park is all together a delightful experience that a visitor can have.
Being one of the key landmarks of Bhubaneswar, Lingraj Temple is reckoned amongst the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar. One can reach Lingraj Temple after crossing a mere 7Kms distance from Dhauli in just 8 minutes. This temple was constructed dedicating to Harihara, which is a form of Hindi deity Vishnu and Shiva. Positioned with an expanse of around 250000 sq. feet areas, visiting this historic temple allow you to witness the architectural magnitude of Odisha. Besides, what amazes the Hindi devotees here is the total 22 worship serves that are offered at Lingraj Temple every day.
One more addition to your voyage to Dhauli is stepping into the Mukteshwar Temple. Situated around 12Kms away from Dhauli, Mukteshwar Temple is 10th century Hindu Temple, which pulls lot many visitors throughout the year. Like many other consecrated shrines in Bhubaneswar, this temple was also built dedicating to the worship of Lord Shiva. Though, the structural appearance of this temple is smaller in contrast, but the architectural brilliance is what distinguishes Mukteshwar from other majestic temples of Odisha. Because of its captivating architecture, Mukteshwar temple is also referred as the “Gem of Odisha architecture”.
Being one of the historic tourist destinations in Bhubaneswar, there are several other interesting sites as well that you can visit around Dhauli with your family. Some of the nearby excursions can be made to the places like Sisupalgarh, Arti Springs, Yogini Temple and Pipli.
Ideal Time to Visit
The coastal plains of Odisha experiences quite hot and humid weather condition during summer, which starts in March and lasts till May. During extreme summers the temperature in Dhauli reaches up to 400C. However, with the entry of monsoon in June, the climate here becomes quite comfy. The monsoon lasts in Dhauli till August when the place receives the maximum rainfall. The best season for excursion to Dhauli is during winter (November to February) when the temperature here becomes soothing, cold and arid. Thus, the best time to visit Dhauli is from November to March.
How to Reach Dhauli
Getting there to the historic land of Dhauli is quite opportune for the visitors across India. Located around 40 minute drives from Bhubaneswar; and on the way to Pipili and Puri, Dhauli is well-connected to other parts of the country via following modes of transports:
By Air: The nearest airport to Dhauli is Biju Patnaik International Airport, which is located around 10Kms reach. From the airport premises, you can hire a taxi or a private car to travel further till Dhauli and other adjoining areas of the city.
By Train: Thanks to the Bhubaneswar railway station for bridging the gap between Dhauli and other major cities of India. Located around 35Kms away from Dhauli, Bhubaneswar railway station is the nearest railway station through which one can conveniently reach Dhauli. There are several trains that you can board from different major cities of India. Some of the key trains to reach Dhauli are Bubneswr Rajdhani, Guwahati Express, Howrah Mail, Chennai Express, Konark Express, Satabdi Express, Puri Adi Express etc. From Bhubaneswar railway station, you will find many private cars and taxis to reach Dhauli.
By Road: Dhauli is well-connected to its nearby cities by roadways. Regular buses are there from Cuttack (around 25Kms), Puri (around 60Kms) and Bhubaneswar (around 8Kms) that run under OSRTDC (Odisha State Road Transport Corporation). Additionally, private buses and taxis are also available from all the nearby places to reach Dhauli. Furthermore, in order to commute within Dhauli, you can hire a cab; and some of the Dhauligiri hill areas can be explored on foot as well.
Places to Stay
Every year, the historic land of Dhauli is visited by numerous tourists from various parts of the country. Therefore, providing comfortable accommodations with basic amenities to the visitors became an integral aspect of cordiality for the Travel and Tourism Authority. Keeping in mind the mounting footfalls of visitors all year, several reasonable as well as luxurious hotels are established in its nearby locations.
Some of these are listed as follows for your convenience:
#Hotel Eden Roc Bhubneshwer
Station Bazar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, India, 751001
Charges: approximately INR 2269
#Hotel Eden Roc
Old Station Bazar, Odisha, 751006 Bhubaneshwar, India
Charges: approximately INR 2300
#The New Marrion
6, Janpath, 751001 Bhubaneshwar, India
Charges: approximately INR 4100
#Hotel Hindusthan International
A-112, Kharvel Nagar Unit-III,
751001 Bhubaneshwar, India
Charges: approximately INR 3000
68,Budhanagar, Kalpana Square,
751006 Bhubaneshwar, India
Charges: approximately INR 1850
#Hotel Excellency Bhubaneswar
74C, Jhunjhunwala Garden. Ashok Nagar, Unit-II,
Near Bhubaneswar Railway station,
Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751009
Charges: approximately INR 3072
- If you visit Dhauli in hot summer, carry light and comfortable outfits. On the other hand in winter, don’t forget to carry your warm outfits as the climate there is quite chilling that time.
- Follow the religious instructions (if applicable) while entering the sacred shrines.
- Carrying a quality camera is always a smart move to capture the golden moments of any trip.
- While exploring the amusement park and the national park, make sure adequate safety measures are followed.
- Also, carry a small kit containing the things that you may require e.g. medicine, torch, sunglass, cap etc.
So, step into the terra firma of historic battle and take home some eternal memories from Dhauli that you can treasure for long.