Shanti Stupa – The Buddhist Center of Odisha

“Nobody likes war – A statement for every era.”

Odisha (historically Kalinga) was the war field for the historic Kalinga War fought by King Asoka in Dhauli hill on the banks of River Daya. It is rumoured that the water stream of the river turned red from the bloodshed of the war. After the completion of the war, Asoka realized the murkiest side of war and thus converted into peace propagator.

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#Shanti Stupa(Peace Pagoda)

Shanti stupa is located on a hill top in Dhauli district of Odisha and the locals also call the Stupa as ‘Dhauligiri’.

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Asoka went on expanding the Shanti Stupa to make it a major Buddhist center and spread the message as far as till Greece. The Shanti Stupa is also known by the name of ‘Peace Pagoda’. Asoka laid the foundation of various stupas and pillars for promoting Buddhism or peace.

 

#Ashokan Rock Edicts

Dhauli also have famous Rock Edicts popularly known as ‘Asoka Edicts’ well known for being the rocks where King Asoka hid under an elephant shaped rock and promoted peace & are written in Brahmi script.

Tips –

  • Located at 7 kms from Bhubaneswar city – you may reach Dhauli by bus or a private taxi.
  • If Puri is the center of your trip, then the Peace Pagoda will be on your way back towards the main town of Bhubaneswar. 
  • Rock edicts are located on the way to Shanti Stupa – most cabs/buses tend to skip them – ask driver to make a quick stopover to get a dose of history.
  • The main rock edict depicting the Brahmi script is situated on right-side of entrance and is locked so to prevent tampering by kids – You can request the guard to open & show you the edicts.
  • If you’re interested in reading the translation of the Brahmi Script so that’s also provided outside the edicts. 

 

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Have you heard about Shanti Stupa in Odisha, India?? Do share your experience with us!!

 – The Wanderer

Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter.

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48 comments

  1. What a stunningly beautiful work of architecture! Religious structures such as this are truly awe-inspiring, not just for the architecture but for their religious significance. That dome commands so much attention!

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  2. Shanti Stupa, first time I hear about its existence! India is such a big country with so many amazing things to see that its almost impossible to get to know the country units totality. I am traveling to India next week for the first time and I am very excited to explore this country and to finally cross it off my bucket list. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience! Looking forward to hearing from your other destinations mentioned above. Safe travels and happy writing! – Mariella

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  3. It is a good thing that the translation of the Brahmi scripts are available . I always find Shanti Stupas very peaceful and meditative. I hope someday, the modern day warmongers realise the futility of wars, just how emperor Asoka did!

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  4. I’ve never heard of the Shanti Stupa in India but I will add it to my ever growing India list. As a photography I would love to photograph all the Buddhist monuments. The Rock Edicts are very unique, I’ve never seen anything like them before.

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  5. Wow, there are some gorgeous buildings there! The Brahmi script looks awesome – would love to be able to read what it says! The tips will be very useful if we visit, thanks!

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  6. I always love visiting attractions that features ruins and temples. It tells so much about the history of a place. Your photos are incredible too. The Rock Edicts are what has intrigued me most!

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  7. I have seen Stupas in Sanchi(Madhya Pradesh) and was never knowing that Stupas are in Orissa also. This shanti Stupa is really a symbol of peace and non-violence and I would love to visit this also. Ashokan Rock Edicts is really a learning for me as I was not knowing that Ashoka hid here. Brahmi script is rare and you found it. Very nice post.

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  8. I’ve never heard of Shanti Stupa, but it looks interesting! I know little to nothing of Buddhism so it would be good to know more about this place. The structure is so unique, and makes you realise how diverse India is with its many religions.

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  9. I have seen Shanti Stupas in Leh (Jammu and Kashmir), Rajgir (Bihar)and Pokhara (Nepal). They exude the same peace every where. Shanti stupa at Odisha looks similar. I am interested in Ashokan pillar as I am a fan of Mauryan Empire.

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  10. I had not heard of Shanti Stupa! Every time I read a post about India I realise just how huge it is, what a diverse and complex culture it has and how little i have seen of it! I would be very interested to learn more about the Buddhism that they follow here, as it is different all over the world. I look forward to more posts on india!

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  11. I love reading and learning about other places. I studied history at uni and war always interested me so much. The whole psychology behind it and so on. I love reading war poetry, I feel it is the best way to experience the emotions.

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  12. The only Stupa I have visited in India was the one near Varanasi and I have to say that it looked very different from Shanti Stupa. I guess every single one of them is different and unique. I really like the elephant sculpted in the rock, it’s really impressive. Does this stupa has any connections with Buddha? I know the one in Varanasi was where he found enlightenment.

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