Dhauli, a small village 8 kms from Bhubaneshwar, situated in the lush paddy fields is famous for the Kalinga war that was fought nearly 2000 years ago. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in his course to expand his kingdom fought a reckless war at Kalinga. The people of Kalinga known for their valour and strength gave him and his army a tough fight. The Kalinga war was the bloodiest battle that the army of Ashoka had to face. It was after seeing the aftermath of this war that he renounced violence and embraced Buddhism. Ashoka in his venture to spread the religion erected many rock edicts throughout the length and the breadth of India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Rock edicts of Dhauli are probably the first to be erected in this venture of his. The rock edicts ask the administrators of the region to look after masses like his children. Here he also apologizes for the Kalinga war. From these war edicts Ashoka only emerges as an able administrator, an intelligent human being and as a devoted Buddhist. Considering the importance of this place, there is a huge pagoda that has been built here to commemorate the event.