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Kalinga Mahotsava

Celebrated at the Historic site of Dhaulli, this festival has a special significance for the common mass of Orissa, they celebrate their glorious defeat in the hands of the emperor Ashoka, the war where the Kalingas were defeated and resulted in heavy bloodshed, the war that transformed Ashoka into an apostle of non-violence and peace. The people of Kalinga celebrate the victory of peace over war, a renaissance over ignorance. The carnival which is celebrated for two consecutive days is organized by Art Vision in collaboration with Orissa Tourism and Nalco.

Ashoka has risen to the throne after killing his 101 brothers; he left for conquering the entire India and to bring it under the mighty swords of Maurya Empire. In the course of adding Utkala to his kingdom in 261 B.C. he fought one of the fiercest battles of history on the banks of the Daya River near the Dhaulli Hills. The heavy bloodshed of innocent men and women and mass devastation made him give up violence and embrace Buddhism and its non violence principles.

The festival is also known as the national festival of Martial Art. The martial art performers assemble here from all over India to exhibit their art forms. The martial dancers here perform to visualize the sacrifices of millions of people of Kalinga. The overlooking giant Shanti Stupa and the statue of Buddha on its top and the paddy and cashew plantations of the nearby countryside present a mystifying scene in the mind of the audience. The Organizers here aim at pacifying the aggression of martial traditions through the tranquilizing appeal of the art of dance. The national integration of India is represented here in forms of the artists of various sates performing the distinct art of their land under a single stage. Chow and Paika from Orissa, Kalaripayattu from Kerala, Thang Ta from Manipur, the audience can view them all under a single roof.

The artists use the swords, bows and various other props to represent the sublime thoughts of winning the soul and the body with immense power of concentration. The dissipating winter, the sublime surrounding with expanse of the green countryside, the solemn statue of Buddha and the marvelous performance of the artists of extreme caliber traverse the soul to a different world and leave you with an experience of elevated pleasures and an leaves an everlasting mark on your mind.

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