Kalinga War, The Lesser-Known Story
Kalinga war, which historians place around 261 BC, was Mauryan emperor Ashoka’s only major military offensive. The reason was not his desire to acquire the ravishing commoner Karuvaki as mythology would have it, but a cool-headed strategic one. Magadha had no access to sea routes. It did not have ports of its own. His father Bindusara’s efforts to wrest control of important ports were repulsed by the mighty Kalingans. Ashoka sought to complete the task. The presence of his pillar edicts in port towns such as Jaugarh, located far away from the site of the battle, Dhauli, underline his real motive. And the presence of a powerful and prosperous neighbour was always a threat.