It was one of the most famous battles of Ancient India - The Battle of Kalinga in 262 BCE turned an ambitious king - the Mauryan empire builder Asoka, into a repentant peace lover who championed non violence and the Buddhist philosophy of Dhamma, becoming the first king in the world, to do so. If you want to understand why Kalinga was so important and what was at stake here for Asoka , you will have to head to Sisupalgarh, on the south-eastern edge of present day Bhubaneswar. Excavations here have unearthed the remains of a massive fortified urban centre, that many historians believe could have been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga.
Comparable to Athens, its contemporary, at its prime - archaeologists who have worked on Sisupalgarh believe it was the most organised urban centre of ancient India. Recent excavations conducted between 2005 and 2009 conclude that the region around Sisupalgarh was inhabited continuously from the 5th century BCE to 4th century CE. It had also become a thriving urban centre for trade, around the 2nd century BCE.
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