Shanti Stupa, Ladakh

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Shanti Stupa
AffiliationTibetan Buddhism
LocationChanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, India
CountryIndia[citation needed]
Geographic coordinates34°10′25″N 77°34′29″E / 34.17361°N 77.57472°E / 34.17361; 77.57472Coordinates: 34°10′25″N 77°34′29″E / 34.17361°N 77.57472°E / 34.17361; 77.57472
StyleBhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura
FounderLadakh Shanti Stupa Committee under Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura[citation needed]
Date established1985

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed Stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in north India.[1] It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama.[2] The Stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


The Shanti Stupa was built by both Japanese Buddhists and Ladakh Buddhists. Original idea was started by The Great King Ashoka and Nichidatsu Fujii emplement His idea to modern time as a symbol of peace.[3] The mission of Nichidatsu Fujii was to build Shanti Stupa as a symbol of peace.

Construction of the Shanti Stupa began in April 1983 under the supervision of Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. And Kushok Bakula, a Head Lama of Ladakh helped his activities from New Delhi because he was member of the Minority Commission of Govt of India. The project was built with the help of Ladakhi Buddhists, who offered voluntary labour, and financially supported by Japanese Buddhists as well as Indian suppoters.The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, sanctioned the construction of a vehicular road to the stupa in 1984.[3] The Indian Army continued support during the construction period. The State Government of J&K provided construction materials for this project.[citation needed] The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso inaugurated foundation of Stupa in August 1985.[1][3][4]

Description and significance[edit]

Main Buddha
Shanti Stupa in winter

The Shanti Stupa features the photograph of the Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base.[3] The Stupa is built as a two-level structure. The first level features the central relief of Dharmachakra with deer on each side. A central golden Buddha image sits on a platform depicting the "turning wheel of Dharma" (Dharmachakra). The second level has reliefs depicting the "birth" of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha "defeating the devils" while meditating.[5] Both levels feature a series of smaller meditating Buddha reliefs.

The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism.[1][3] It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and India.[3]

Tourist attraction[edit]

Since its inauguration, Shanti Stupa has become a popular tourist attraction. According to The Hindu it is the "most famous tourist attraction" around Leh, though its architectural style is different from the Ladakhi style.[1][6] The Shanti Stupa overlooks the city of Leh, providing panoramic views of the city, the village of Changspa, Namgyal Tsemo in the distance and the surrounding mountains.[7][8] Sunrise and sunset are considered to provide the best views from Shanti Stupa.[9] The Stupa is illuminated with lights at night. The Stupa is open for tourists between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.[9]

Shanti Stupa, Leh


A distant view of Shanti Stupa in Leh

Situated at a height of 3,609 metres (11,841 ft),[4] the Stupa is located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Leh - the former capital of Ladakh - on a steep hill facing the Leh Palace.[3] The Stupa can be reached by a drivable road or on foot using a series of 555 steep steps to the hilltop.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Shanti Stupa". Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Leh". NDTV.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Bhasin, Sanjeev Kumar (2006). "Shanti Stupa". Amazing land Ladakh: places, people, and culture. Indus Publishing. pp. 119–20. ISBN 978-81-7387-186-3.
  4. ^ a b Jagir Singh Bajwa, Ravinder Kaur (2007). Tourism Management. APH Publishing. p. 117. ISBN 978-81-313-0047-3.
  5. ^ The titles of the reliefs are given on the plaques under the reliefs at the Shanti Stupa.
  6. ^ Luv Puri (21 August 2005). "Ladakh monuments cry for renovation". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 April 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  7. ^ Frommer's India. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley Publishing Inc. 4 March 2008. p. 524. ISBN 978-0-470-16908-7.
  8. ^ "Leh: Places to see". VISITLADAKH.COM. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Shanti Stupa". Buddhist-Tourism.Com. 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2009.

External links[edit]