Sef/Art Resource, NY

A massive elephant’s head emerges from a rocky outcrop in the town of Dhauli in India’s northeastern state of Orissa. In 257 B.C., following a bloody battle in which Ashoka conquered the kingdom of Kalinga, the emperor became a convert to Buddhism and immediately regretted the destruction he had caused to the Kalingans. He then had this rock carved with a declaration of his Buddhist beliefs—including compassion, moderation and respect for all life—and a statement of his remorse for the pain and suffering he had caused.