Shanti Stupa, Ladakh

Shanti Stupa, Ladakh

A magnificent white-dome monument, the Shanti Stupa in Leh is among the top places to visit in Leh. Located at an elevation of 11,841 feet above the sea level, it is a must-visit place for all those who seek peace and beauty. The views from this monument are surreal and one cannot miss the sight of mesmerizing sunset and sunrise.

Shanti Stupa holds a religious significance for the Buddhists as it holds the remnants of Buddha, which were consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama. Nature lovers will enjoy the gorgeous views of Leh and the Changspa Village nearby. If you visit during the full moon night, you will be able to witness the naturally illuminated monument by moonlight.

So, if you have been looking for a getaway to obtain peace and offer prayers to God, Shanti Stupa is the perfect place to be.

History of Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese Buddhist named Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura in 1991. The main objective to construct this was to mark the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and also to promote world peace. This peace pagoda aims to spread peace, positivity, and the preaching of Buddha.

Levels of Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa is made on two levels. The first one contains the gilded statue of the Buddha and the Dharmachakra or the wheels of life. Devotees can move the wheels while they seek blessings and pray to God.

On the second level, the stupa depicts life, enlightenment (nirvana), and the death of Buddha. Devotees or tourists can take a round of this stupa and pray while enjoying the astounding views around.

The architecture of Shanti Stupa

A Buddhist stupa represents the great Gautam Buddha’s burial place and some of the oldest ones of the Buddhist culture are located in India. However, Shanti Stupa, despite being located in the Ladakh region, imitates much older stupas. It is not built in the usual Ladakhi architecture, which makes it one of the popular locations among travelers.

To reach here, you have to climb 500 steps made by Buddhist stone pyramids flanked on either side of the monument. It has two storeys with a dome on the top. This dome is made from a mound of dirt used to cover the Buddha’s remains. There is also a square railing, which represents a fence around the mound.

The center pillar of this monument holds an umbrella and is called ‘chhatra’ representing the pivot of the universe, from where God descends from the heavens above and becomes accessible to humanity.

The walls of Shanti Stupa are also painted with vibrant reliefs that showcase the achievements in the life of Gautam Buddha, right from his birth to his death. If you want to meditate, there is a massive meditation hall inside where you can chant the Lord’s name and find inner peace.

Best Time to Visit Shanti Stupa

Plan your visit to Shanti Stupa from July to September. The roads during this duration remain clear and the weather is warm and sunny. For the best views, sunrise and sunset are perfect times of the day.

Timings and Entry Fee

You can visit Shanti Stupa between 5:00 am to 9:00 pm with no entry fee.

How to Reach Shanti Stupa

Hire a cab or rent a bike from Leh Main Market to Shanti Stupa as it is only 3 to 4 km away. Once reached, you have to then climb steps to reach the hilltop.

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