History of Kalinga Mahotsava
According to history, many years ago the fore fathers of people of Dhauli hill fought one of the fiercest battles in human history against Emperor Ashoka, the Kalinga War. Although they lost the battle and suffered loss of a hundred thousand men, they gained immortality because they transfigured a warring monarch into an apostle of non-violence and peace.
Celebration of Kalinga Mahotsava
The Kalinga Mahotsava thus serves as a tribute to the victory of Peace over War. In the festival renowned Indian dancers perform harmonizing the vigor of martial art with sublime dance forms.
The Martial dancers while dancing exhibit incredible postures of aggression, self-defense and escape in a graceful way. They also employ weapons like swords, spears and shields in their performances. The dancers execute their performances with such elegance that it keeps the audiences thrilled and excited. The Kalinga Mahotsav showcases the vibrant traditions of martial arts of India through a colorful display of dances and music. takes place every year on the 4th and 5th of February in front of the Dhauli stupa, the Japanese Buddhist Temple situated on a hill at the outskirts of modern Bhubaneswar. This is the place where Emperor Ashok is believed to have fought the last battle of the great Kalinga war in this particular location before he embraced Buddhism.
From the top of the stupa the statue of Lord Buddha overlooks the entire stage. The peaceful expanse of the countryside populated by paddy fields and cashew plantations presents the peaceful background to the outburst of movements and sounds which accompany the performance of the martial artists. The aim of the organizers of this festival is to harmonize the vigor of martial tradition with the sublimity of peace through the art of dance. Apart from tourists the festival also attracts many martial artists from all over India.
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