Shanti Stupa is one of the magnificent Tibetan structures that has ever been built. The architecture and the beauty of this place are unexplainable. Shanti Stupa is a white-dome structure dedicated to Buddhism. Located on the hilltop of Chamspa in Leh, it is one of the major tourist attractions of Ladakh not only for its religious significance for also for its splendid views of the surrounding mountain ranges that it has to offer. This marvelous structure is an example of the ties between Japan and India.
Shanti Stupa was constructed in the year 1991 by Japanese Buddhist, Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The construction was jointly done by the Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhists to mark the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote world peace. It is a part of peace pagoda mission, which aims to spread peace through the preaching of Buddha.
The stupa has various relics of old Buddhism culture including the huge idol of Buddha placed at this base; the idol was enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The beauty of Shanti Stupa takes a level up at night, especially during the full moon night when it is naturally illuminated by the moonlight.
Structure of Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa is perched at an elevation of 4,267 meters and offers the breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges that surround this majestic structure. You need to jot down a short trek of 15 minutes from Changspa to the stupa. The Shanti Stupa is constructed on two levels. The first level houses the gold embellished statue of the Buddha and the Dharmachakra (the wheels of life), where the devotees move the wheels while they pray to God for their prosperity. The second level of the stupa depicts the life, nirvana (enlightenment) and the death of Buddha. You can take a round of the stupa praying and enjoying the astonishing beauty of Ladakh.
Construction of Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa was built under the 'peace pagoda mission' which aims to construct peace pagodas all around the world to promote world peace. The original idea of this magnificent structure was proposed by Nichidatsu Fujii (Fujii Guruji) in 1914. The construction of stupa was the joint effort by the Japanese and Buddhist monks under the supervision of the Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura and Kushok Bakula, Lama of Ladakh from New Delhi, the former international diplomats of the Republic of India.
The construction of the stupa began in 1983, and it was partly funded by the then government of India under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi. The construction of the stupa was completed in 1984, and henceforth a concrete road was built to the stupa. Shanti Stupa inaugurated by the then Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso on August 1991.
How to Reach Shanti Stupa
Located on the top of the hill Chanspa, 15 minutes of walk is required to reach the Stupa on the hill top from the foothill.
1. Reaching to the hill top requires a trek, make sure you are in your comfortable attire.
2. Do not miss the view of Shanti Stupa at night.