The Kalinga War was a war fought between the Mauryan Empire under Ashoka the Great and the state of Kalinga, a feudal republic located in on the coast of the present-day Indian state of Orissa. The war began in the 9th year of Ashoka's reign, probably in either 265 or 264 BC. Ashoka's father Bindusara had previously attempted to conquer Kalinga, but had been repulsed. After a bloody battle for the throne after Bindusara's death, Ashoka tried to annex Kalinga. He was successful only after a savage war, whose consequences changed Ashoka's views on war and led him to pledge never to wage a war. Ashoka had seen the blood shed himself from his own eyes the mangled bodies of both men and women from the young too the old, he could see over two hundred terrible sins he was the cause of from rivers of flowing blood to widows crying over there slain husbands till orphaed children, this made his heart broken in unbearable shame and guilt. Ashoka's response to the Kalinga War is recorded in the Edicts of Ashoka. According to Buddhist legends about the life of Ashoka, the Kalinga War prompted Ashoka to convert to Buddhism.
According to Buddhist legends in Sri Lanka and mahavmsa chronicles and Ashika's own rock edicts. Ashoka was at least practising Buddhist four years before Kalinga war and was encouraged to start the war by Buddhists only to propagate their religion. He was so fed up with Buddhism because of kalinga war that for next 10 years no rock edict was issued in favor of Buddhism and no cave donated while Ajivakas and Jainas as well as all other sects were encouraged. Only after coming to age of Nyogrodha Kumara, Ashoka's nephew did Ashoka turn to Buddhism again.
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