Weather :

Timings : 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Built in : 1914

Best Time to Visit : Sunrise and Sunset

Shanti Stupa, Leh Ladakh Overview

The Shanti Stupa in Leh is a magnificent white-domed Buddhist monument located atop a steep hilltop at a dizzying height of 11,841 feet. It is a religious place for the Buddhists as it holds the relics of Buddha, consecrated by the 14th Dalai Lama. It is also popular amongst tourists as it offers a sweeping view of Leh and the nearby Changspa village. Shanti Stupa looks exceptionally beautiful during the full moon night when it is naturally illuminated by the moonlight.

Shanti Stupa was constructed in 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 the peace pagoda mission, which aims to spread peace through the preaching of Buddha. Shanti Stupa is a perfect getaway for both- those looking to obtain peace from offering prayers to God and those waiting to be mesmerised by nature's wondrous beauty.

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Shanti Stupa
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Structure of Shanti 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.

Architecture of Shanti Stupa

Buddhist stupas serve as a marker for a sacred space that represents the great Gautam Buddha's burial mound, and India has few of the oldest stupas of the Buddhist culture. The Shanti Stupa's architecture imitates that of the much older stupas. Its architectural style is quite different from the typical Ladakhi architecture which makes it a unique and popular attraction of the area.

The Shanti Stupa is approached by a climb of 500 steps with Buddhist stone pyramids flanked on both sides. The structure is milk-white and is two storeys tall with a dome on the top. The dome or the mound recalls a mound of dirt that was used to cover the Buddha's remains. The square railing on top of the dome signifies a fence around the mound and is a marker of a sacred site. Above the square edifice is a central pillar that holds an umbrella; this is called the 'chhatra', and it represents the pivot of the universe - where the divine ascends from the heavens and become accessible to humanity. The walls of Shanti Stupa are painted with colourful reliefs that depict the milestones in the life of Gautam Buddha- his birth, his fight against devils, his victories over injustice and his death. There is a huge meditation hall inside where you can sit, chant the Lord's name, meditate and find your inner peace.

How to Reach Shanti Stupa Leh

The closest railheads to Leh is Pathankot Railway Station and Chandigarh Railway Station, both of which are almost 72 hours away by road. You can opt to take a bus to Leh from nearby cities and will take you about 4 days to get here with frequent stops in the middle.

Both routes- via rail and road, are both spectacularly scenic and worth every dime and minute you have spent for them.

You need to climb 500 steps to reach the Shanti Stupa, and this is the recommended route where you can explore and soak in the beautiful surroundings of this monument. 

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