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Tourist Places To Visit In Dhauli
A key centre for Buddhism, the town of Dhauli has a rich historical past that signifies its religious importance as well. It is situated in the east Indian state Orissa, just a few kilometres outside the capital city of Bhubaneswar. Dhauli is primarily a hill known as Dhauligiri; where 'Giri' means Hill. The town features numerous pillars and rock carvings that depict the principles of King Asoka, who converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga War that was fought along the foothills of Dhauligiri.
Buddhism helped shape the rest of Asoka’s life, which is evident in the structures dotted around the hill. There are also a number of spots around Dhauli that make it one of the best places for a day trip from the more frequented cities nearby like Puri and Bhubaneswar. Here is a list of some of the best tourist places to visit in and around Dhauli.
World Peace Pagoda
The most notable structure in Dhauli is the World Peace Pagoda, also known as the Vishwa Shanti Stupa. An important site for Buddhist devotees, it was constructed in 1972 through the joint efforts of the Japanese Buddha Sangh and the Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangh. While the domed stupa is the main highlight of the area, there are numerous structures here constructed by King Asoka that speak volumes about his devotion to Buddhism and peace. The statue of a reclining Buddha is one of the most prominent structures here, along with images of a Bodhi tree, an elephant procession, and the footprints of Buddha bearing the Chakra.
Dedicated to Lord Dhavaleshwar, another avatar of Lord Shiva, the Dhavaleshwar Temple is situated just a little distance away from the Shanti Stupa. While the Shanti Stupa is an important site for Buddhist devotees, the Dhavaleshwar Temple attracts all Hindu devotees who visit the area. Even for someone who is not particularly religious, the temples in the area are worth visiting simply for its glorious architecture.
Just around 12 km away from Dhauli, the famous village of Pipli is one of the top places to visit near the town. It is most well-known for the vibrant Chandua applique work that has gained national recognition and attracts all tourists who visit Orissa for a vacation. Pipli has a history that dates back to the 12th century, and the craftsmen here have inherited their expertise from their forefathers who once served the royals and the temples of the kingdom. Shoppers can find a variety of items in the shops here like handbags, bedsheets, outfits, puppets and numerous other goods that have been made with the trademarked applique and patchwork.
Nandankanan National Park
A zoo and botanical garden situated in Bhubaneswar, a trip to Nandankanan Park will prove to be a fun excursion for all, especially kids. It is the first zoo in the country to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a part of it has also been declared a sanctuary. While it is home to thousands of wildlife species, the white tiger is definitely the highlight of Nandankanan that drives the majority of the crowd to the park. In 2008, the park also launched the Adopt-an-Animal program where adopters have to pay a certain amount that will take care of the adoptive animal’s needs for a year. In return, they receive an adoption certificate and a free entry ticket for each animal adopted.