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The Battle of Kalinga(Kalinga War) - 262 BC

The Kalinga War was one of the major and bloodiest battles ever fought in Indian History. The war was fought between Ashoka the great Mauryan Emperor, and Raja Anantha Padmanabhan of Kalinga in 262 BCE
The Kalinga War was one of the major and bloodiest battles ever fought in Indian History. The war was fought between Ashoka the great Mauryan Emperor, and Raja Anantha Padmanabhan of Kalinga in 262 BCE. Ashoka defeated Raja Anantha Padmanabhan in the war resulting in the conquest of Kalinga and its incorporation into Maurya Empire. The consequences of this battle were devastating that the Mauryan Emporer Ashoka eventually walked the path of peace and adopted Buddhism.

Background

Kalinga is then said to be a glorious and prosperous region consisting of freedom loving and artistic skilled people. The main reasons for invading Kalinga were both political and economic. 
King Of Kalinga Against Ashoka
Ashoka’s grandfather, Emperor Chandragupta Maurya tried to conquer Kalinga once but was unsuccessful. Emperor Bindusara, father of Emperor Ashoka, was in a process of territorial expansion and tried to conquer Kalinga . And after the death of Emperor Bindusara, Emperor Ashoka took a complete charge to annex the State of Kalinga.


Before the battle started, Ashoka sent a letter to King of Kalinga(Raja Anantha Padmanabhan) where Ashoka asked for complete submission of Kalinga to the Mauryan Empire. When Raja Anantha Padmanabhan declined the proposal of complete submission to Mauryan Empire, Emperor Ashoka led an enormous army against Kalinga.

Battle

The army of Kanliga an Independent feudal republic was led by Raja Anantha Padmanabhan. The battle was fought on Dhauli hill. Ashoka and his army fought a severe fight with the army of Raja Anantha Padmanabhan. They offered a stiff resistance to the Mauryan army. The entire town of Kalinga turned into a battle ground and every one came forward to fight against the Mauryan army. However, they were no match for the mighty Mauryan army, led by Ashoka himself. They resisted and fought bravely. In fact, in many instances, the army led by  Raja Anantha Padmanabhan of   Kalinga came very close to victory. Till the last breath, they fought with great valour and finally the people of Kalinga perished in the battlefield. And Ashoka the great won the battle of Kalinga. 


Ashoka and his army fought a severe fight with the army of Raja Anantha Padmanabhan. They offered a stiff resistance to the Mauryan army. The entire town of Kalinga turned into a battle ground and every one came forward to fight against the Mauryan army.


The battle was fierce and claimed the lives of 150,000 warriors of Kalinga and 100,000 Mauryan warriors. The scene of the war presented a horrible sight, the whole terrain was covered with the corpses of soldiers, wounded soldiers groaned in severe pain, vultures hovered over their dead bodies, orphaned children mourning the loss of their nears and dears, widows looked blank and despaired. Daya River flowing next to the battlefield turned completely red because of the bloodshed. However, he retained Kalinga after its conquest and incorporated it into the Maurya Empire
It is said in oral history that one woman of Kalinga came to Ashoka after the war and said that the battle took away her husband, father and son from her and she has nothing to live for
He realized that his victory at such a cost is not worthwhile. This moved Emperor Ashoka so much that he adopted the Buddhism and walked the path of Ahimsa or non-violence under Acharya Upgupta.

This is the singular instance of a war in history which brought about a complete change of heart in a stern ruler like Ashoka. He realized that his victory at such a cost is not worthwhile. This moved Emperor Ashoka so much that he adopted the Buddhism and walked the path of Ahimsa or non-violence under Acharya Upgupta. And Emperor Ashoka the Great ended his military conquests and completely stopped the territorial expansion policy of Mauryan Empire.

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