Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh , in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at his base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Description and Significance:
The Shanti Stupa features the photograph of the current Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base.The stupa is built to a two-level structure. The first level features the central relief of Dharmacakra with deer on each side. The central golden Buddha image sits on a platform depicting the “turning wheel of Dharma” (Dharmacakra).
The second level has reliefs depicting the “birth” of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha “defeating the devils” while meditating.Both levels feature a smaller meditating Buddha reliefs.The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace And prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.
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.