India

Shanti Stupa

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Built by the ‘Peace Sect’, an association of Japanese Buddhists, the Shanti Stupa crowns a hill on the western edge of the Leh valley. A total of 157 steps take you to the summit just off of Changspa, or alternatively there is a road that will take you to the top.

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Inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1991, the chalk-white stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity as well as to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism.

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The walls of the dome are embellished with Buddha images. On the lower level there are 53 Buddhas, the upper level has reliefs depicting the birth of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha defeating the devils while meditating.

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It’s well worth making the short trek to reach the Stupa, in particular during the late afternoon when the views from the summit are at their best.

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