Shanti stupa is a white domed stupa or chorten dedicated to Buddhism in the town of Leh. Shanti stupa is located on the hilltop at Chanspa, Leh. It is among the Significant tourist attractions of Leh because of its spiritual significance in Addition to for it’s Tibetan style. The white structure offers a magnificent view of the mountains and the valley.
History of Shanti Stupa Leh
The Shanti stupa has been constructed to boost connection between Japan and India also it had been built in 1991 by a Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The construction represents the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism and it was jointly constructed by Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhist for the promotion of world’s amity and synchronization. The construction of stupa was a part of peace pagoda mission, aiming to promote peace in the world by the teachings of Buddha. The initial idea for the construction of this striking structure was proposed by Nichidatsu Fujii (Fujii Guruji) in 1914 for re-establishing Buddhism in India and in the world by making temples of Buddhism.
The Building of stupa was built under the supervision of Their Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura and Kushok Bakula, Lama of Ladakh in New Delhi, the Prior Foreign diplomats of the Republic of India and was completed in 1984. The construction began in 1983, by the volunteer services by Japanese and Ladakhi Buddhist,who considered India as a holy place of the birth of Gautam Buddha. The construction was partially funded by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi to establish good ties with Japan.The state government also provided financial aid for the construction of road. After the completion of stupa a concrete road was built for making it accessible for the tourists. Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by the 14th and then Dalai Lama,Tenzin Gyatso in August 1991.The stupa has architecture from old Buddhism culture and a large Buddha statue which was also enshrined by 14th Dalai Lama at the base of the Shanti Stupa.
Structure of Leh’s Shanti Stupa
The structure of Stupa is two level, in which the first level is reached by stairs and it highlights the central relief of Dharmachakra with deer on each side of the platform. A golden faced Buddha image sits on a platform and turning the wheel of Dharma (Dharmachakra) where the devotees move the wheels while praying to the God for their fortune and prosperity. The second level has reliefs depicting the birth of Buddha, the passing of Buddha (mahanirvana) and image of Buddha “beating the devils” while engaged in meditation. Both the amounts include a string of smaller meditating Buddha constructions and images depicting life stories of Buddha.
The white domed stupa is situated at the height of 4267 meters and about 5 km from the city of Leh. The Shanti stupa overlooking the city gives a bird view of the city. It can be reached by 15-minutes trek to the Chanspa hill or by the concrete road on other side. The stupa gives panoramic view of the city, the village of Changspa and the Tsemo fort. Climbing the hill in golden sun with splendid view of the mountains all around gives a serene experience and happiness.
Best Time To Visit Shanti Stupa
The best time to visit the stupa is during the sunset and sunrise but the beauty of the stupa is enhanced in the silver moonlight of the full moon. This structure holds a religious significance but people from all of the world are attracted towards it due to it’s beauty and the view all around the stupa. It was considered the most famous tourist attraction in Ladakh by ‘The Hindu’. The lights illuminated by the stupa in the night and during sunrise and sunset give a mesmerizing view of the structure. The place is vantage point to have panoramic view of the city. It is one of the favorite place for photographers to take photos of the city as well as white stupa in golden light of sun and in the silver evenings of full moon.
As soon as one take the steps towards the Stupa, surrounded by the mountains the enchanting and breathtaking view will bewitch you and will leave you awestruck, this hassle free place will provide you the experience of unimaginable purity and enthusiasm. Stupa stands like a jewel between the snow covered silver mountains all around and it is a oasis of serenity amidst the bustling crowd. It provide peace and calmness to its visitors. The stupa looks like it is sitting on a platform with mountain guarding it from all the directions. It provide peace to its people and the pristine white stupa greets the travelers with humming of prayers, light torches and smell of calmness in the air. The vibrant colors and the pictures of Dalai Lamas inside the stupa provide an essence of the universe and life. The spiritual symbol of peace and harmony provide serenity, purity and convey the fundamentals of Buddhism.
One will experience a sense of spiritual exaltation as soon as you enter through the gates of stupa and exudes calmness and ecstasy. The Shanti stupa as the name suggests provide peace and radiates the calmness and goodness in all directions. The environment of the stupa helps in experiencing not only spirituality but relaxation from the worldly possessions. This place illuminates the peace , solidarity and spirituality. It provide us self relaxation and calmness. Helping us to understand our own personal journey to spirituality and calmness. It will add to the unimaginable experience of our life and brings the calm and serene person from within.
Shanti stupa is open all days of week from 5 a.m. To 9 p.m. The best time to visit Shanti stupa is from July to September or the summer months of Ladakh as the place has a very extreme climatic conditions and reaching the stupa will be difficult in winters. The unpredictable climate of Leh offers a mesmerizing view of the mountains with bright sun some days and can restrict the travel due to chilly wind as well. Shanti stupa is a must visit place in Leh for lifetime experience of serenity, the culture of Buddhism, to experience the beautiful view of snow capped Zaskar range and most importantly to understand one own self.