Have you ever been to a place that offers peace, beauty, and spirituality in one package? If not, then you should definitely visit the Shanti Stupa in Leh, Ladakh. It is a stunning white-domed Buddhist monument that stands on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque town of Leh and the majestic Himalayas.
Table of Contents
It is not only a religious place for the Buddhists, but also a popular tourist attraction for its amazing views and architecture. Here are some interesting facts about the Shanti Stupa that you should know before you go.
The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism:
It was constructed in 1991 by a Japanese Buddhist monk named Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura, who was inspired by the teachings of Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of the peace pagoda mission. The mission aims to spread peace and harmony through the construction of stupas around the world. The Shanti Stupa was built with the help of Ladakhi Buddhists, who offered voluntary labour and donations. The project was also supported by the Indian government, which provided a road to the stupa and other facilities. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, inaugurated the foundation of the stupa in 1985.
The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the Dalai Lama:
The stupa is designed as a two-level structure, with each level having different features and meanings. The first level has a large image of the Dharmachakra, or the wheel of law, with two deer on each side. This symbolises the first sermon of the Buddha at Sarnath, where he taught the four noble truths and the eightfold path to his disciples. The second level has three images of the Buddha depicting his birth, death, and defeat of evil forces. The stupa also has smaller images of meditating Buddhas around its circumference.
The Shanti Stupa offers a panoramic view of Leh and its surroundings:
The stupa is located at an altitude of 11,841 feet, which makes it one of the highest stupas in the world. From the stupa, you can see the entire town of Leh, with its colourful houses and markets. You can also see the Indus River flowing through the valley, and the snow-capped mountains in the background. The view is especially breathtaking during sunrise and sunset, when the sky changes its colours and casts a magical glow on the stupa. The stupa is also illuminated by lights at night, which makes it look even more beautiful.
The Shanti Stupa is a place to experience peace and tranquility:
The stupa is open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day, and you can visit it anytime you want. You can either take a car or walk up to the stupa from the main road. The walk is steep and challenging, but rewarding as well. You have to climb about 500 steps to reach the stupa, but once you get there, you will feel a sense of calmness and serenity. You can sit and meditate in front of the stupa, or walk around it while chanting prayers. You can also enjoy the fresh air and the scenic views from the stupa.
Lights and climbs:
The stupa is illuminated in the evenings, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals to enjoy the stunning views and peaceful ambiance. Visitors can reach Shanti Stupa by climbing a steep flight of 500 steps or by taking a taxi or private vehicle as there is a road leading to the hilltop.
The Shanti Stupa is a must-visit place for anyone who visits Leh, Ladakh. It is a place where you can connect with your inner self and appreciate the beauty of nature. It is also a place where you can learn about the history and culture of Buddhism and Ladakh. It is a place where you can find peace and happiness.