From the serene and peaceful monastery located in the backdrop of breathtaking blue coloured mountains, we went to another hilltop located in Ladakh where we visited the Shanti Stupa Ladakh. Since we had a private cab, it didn’t take much time or effort to reach the place. We were simply mesmerized by the panoramic scene of the landscape in the surroundings. In addition to the religious significance of the Stupa, the panoramic view plays an important role in attracting tourists throughout the year.
The Stupa belongs to the Buddhists and was constructed to promoted prosperity and peace in the world. It stands tall as a symbol of existence of Buddhism for more than 2,500 years. Some people believe it to be a symbol of bond between the people of Ladakh and Japan. We knew that there were relics of Buddha at the base of the Stupa.
The history associated with the stupa is said to be an exciting one. It was jointly built by Buddhists from Ladakh and Japan. Initially, the motive of building the stupa was Nichidatsu Fuji’s aim to construct temples and peace Pagodas in different corners of the world. With these structures, he wanted to restore the golden days of Buddhism in India.
Though the construction of the stupa started way back in 1914, it was only twenty two years ago that Kushok Bakula, a Ladakh’s lama and Bhikshu Gyomo Nakamura, a Buddhist from Japan, resumed the original construction. It is believed that Buddhists from Ladakh and Japan volunteered as labourers to construct the Stupa. The then PM of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi even sanctioned a road leading to the Shanti Stupa in 1984. It was only in 1991 that the Stupa was finally completed and inaugurated by Tenzin Gyatso, the present Dalai Lama.
We could see that there were two level structures inside the Stupa. There was a Buddha’s image made of Gold sitting on a platform in the centre of the first level. It is said to represent the Dharmachakra or Dharma’s turning wheel. The second level boasts of reliefs which show Buddha’s birth, Buddha’s death or Mahanirvana and Buddha’s win over the devils while meditating. We could spot a number of small sized meditating reliefs of Buddha on both the levels.