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Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Changspa, Leh district, Ladakh. 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 His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself. The original idea was staeted by Nichidatsu Fujii (Fujii Guruji) in 1914, whose mission was to build Peace Pagodas and temples over the world and try to resurrect Buddhism back in India. Considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh, it was built by both - voluntary Ladakhi Buddhists as well as Japanese Buddhists who considered India as the "sacred" birth place of the Buddha.

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. Both levels feature a series of smaller Buddha reliefs. Signifying world peace and prosperity and built to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism, it has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also for its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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