After our visit to the craft village of Bhubaneswar the next site that we visited was the Dhauligiri shanti stupa. It is located on a hillock near the river Daya and is surrounded with scenic beauty. It is a premier tourist destination located on the route from Puri to Bhubaneswar. Due to its serene and calm environment the Shanti Stupa of Dhauligiri is also known as the Buddhist peace pagoda.
As we reached this place, we were awestruck to see the beauty and detailed architecture of the monument. It was truly amazing and spells bounding. The natural beauty encompassing the stupa is as add on. There is no entry fee and cameras are allowed inside the premises. The timings for visitors are from 7am to 7 pm on all days all the year round.
This structure was erected in the year 1972, jointly by the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh and the Japan Buddha Sangh. It was built by the collaboration of the Indo – Japanese followers of Buddhism. This stupa is amazingly beautiful with a dome on the top and speaking stone panels are constructed to adorn this monument.
The main stone panels are embellished with the bodhi tree, reclining Buddha, an elephant procession and the foot prints of Buddha bearing the wheel or chakra. Moreover the panels also portray procession on horseback, a sleeping beauty being fanned by female attendants, and the event of renouncement of war by Emperor Asoka by offering his sword to Buddha at the Dhaulagiri.
There are many other attractions in the vicinity of the Shanti Stupa. The Saddharma Vihar Monastery, varied art forms and a number of ancient structures are also located at this site. An old Hindu temple reconstructed in1972 which has Lord Dhavaleshwar as its presiding deity is also located beyond the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa.
This place is a premier tourist destination and is well connected to the city via buses, auto rickshaws and rented taxis. The best time to visit the peace pagoda of Buddha is during morning or evening as the monument possesses a majestic sheen in the golden glow of the rising or the setting sun.