Epic Battles Of Odisha – The land of Odisha has undergone several changes in terms of its boundaries since ancient ages. It was also known by different names like Kalinga, South Kosala or Utkala in different eras.
Kalinga War (262 – 261 BC)
When Ashoka, the son of the Mauryan emperor Bindusara and the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, ascended the throne of Magadha in 273 B.C. treading in the footsteps of his forefathers he set out to expand his empire. In the 12th year of his reign, he sent a message to Kalinga asking its submission, but the Kalingaraj refused to submit to the Mauryan empire.
As a result Ashoka lead a huge army against Kalinga. This took place in 261 B.C., the freedom loving people of Kalinga offered a stiff resistance to the Mauryan army. The whole of Kalinga turned into a battle arena. History offers us but few examples of such fiercely fought wars as this. The Kalingaraj himself commanded his army in the battle field.
The war took a tremendous toll of life and property. The 13th rock edict of Ashoka throws light on this war. Atleast 0.1 million Kalingans were killed while another 0.15 million were taken prisoners. And almost equal number of Magadha soldiers were also killed. There was not a single man left in Kalinga to live a life of slavery.