Shanti Stupa, Leh

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Photo of Shanti Stupa, Leh by The Rooted Nomads (Ria Chaudhury)

Ladakh is an entirely different world! When you land at the Leh airport and look around, you will be awestruck by the beauty of the high Himalayan landscape. You would find yourself surrounded by gigantesque mountain ranges with peaks crowned with snow and a deep clear blue sky overhead. Streaks of greenery dotting the desert landscape enhances the beauty even more.

Ladakh is every traveler's dream. The word 'Ladakh' means 'The land of High passes'. Traversing this vast cold desert would take one on a roller coaster ride across the many mountain passes, including the world's highest motorable mountain pass- Khardungla.

Read more about Leh.

The exploration of this cold desert begins in Leh- the heart of Ladakh. Every traveler visiting Ladakh must stay in Leh for 48 hours to acclimatize to the low oxygen levels in the atmosphere due to the high altitude. After acclimatizing properly one can hit the roads on a bike and explore all the beauty of Leh.

Read about beautiful Buddhist stupas in India.

Shanti Stupa

Photo of Shanti Stupa, Leh by The Rooted Nomads (Ria Chaudhury)

One of the most iconic places to visit in Leh is the Shanti Stupa. This is a white coloured Chorten built on top of the Changspa Hill. The shanti stupa can be seen from everywhere in Leh as a beautiful structure built on a high hill top. This chorten was built in the year 1991 as a part of the peace pagoda mission by the Japanese monk Gyomyo Nakamura. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of Buddha at its base and was enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama.

Where to stay for an amazing view of the Shanti Stupa?

If you want to have a beautiful view of the Shanti stupa while you sip your morning tea , then book a place to stay at the Upper Tukcha road near the Leh Market.

You can book the Yangphel Guest House here.

Why should Shanti Stupa be in your itinerary?

The shanti stupa is a major tourist attraction and sees a huge footfall of tourists not only for its religious significance but also for the panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes. A bike ride along the hilly roads is an absolutely thrilling experience that one should never miss.

On reaching the top of the Changspa Hill, the view of the Leh city would steal your breath away and you would come back with a memory to cherish forever.

View of the Leh city from the Shanti Stupa At Dusk

Photo of Shanti Stupa, Leh by The Rooted Nomads (Ria Chaudhury)

How to reach the Shanti Stupa?

Shanti stupa is located at about 5km from the main Leh city, perched on top of a hill. It is very well connected by road. Leh city is best explored on a bike and bike ride to the shanti stupa would take you around 15 minutes to reach.

However, the ones who love hiking can also reach the Shanti Stupa by climbing a flight of 500 steps.

Best Time to visit the Shanti Stupa

One can visit the Shanti stupa during any time of the day from 5am to 9pm. However, the best best time to visit would be during the hours of dusk and dawn to experience the play of light, shade and colour of the sun and the mountains. I visited the Shanti Stupa at dusk and it was the most beautiful sunset that I ever witnessed in all my life.

As darkness engulfs the surrounding valley, lights from the Leh city twinkles like stars and spreads a dreamy aura. The Shanti Stupa gets flooded in white light. The beauty of darkness would be etched in your mind and soul forever.

Photo of Shanti Stupa, Leh by The Rooted Nomads (Ria Chaudhury)

Things to do at the Shanti Stupa

(1) Visit the Monastery in the Shanti Stupa Premises to experience the tranquility and peace of a Buddhist temple.

(2) Circumambulate the Stupa in the clockwise direction:

The stupa is a beautiful white domed structure with a great statue of the Buddha. The walls are adorned by stories of important events from the life of Gautama Buddha. Circumambulate this great white chorten and you would be mesmerised by the peace that it emanates. Experience the beauty of this stupa which holds the relics of Lord Buddha.

(3) Watch the sunset from the Stupa and experience the breathtaking play of lights and colours as the sun sets behind the rugged mountains.

"A beautiful Sunset is a reward to another surviving day..."

Dusk is definitely one of the best time to visit. As you drive up the narrow roads to the hilltop, the play of light of the setting sun would mesmerise you. As the intensity of the heat of the sun decreases, one would feel a refreshing chill in the air. The highest peaks would be burning in golden light and the lower ones would be gradually sinking into shadows. A peaceful hymn playing at the monastery would blend in with the wind , and the light and the serenity of the Shanti Stupa. You would be amazed by the beauty of the approaching dusk as the sky changes to different shades of blue , orange and pink and eventually darkness sets in.

(4) Enjoy a thrilling bike ride to the Shanti Stupa:

Ladakh is a treasure chest of beautiful road trips and a road trip the Shanti Stupa on bike should be something one should never miss. The feeling of gaining height as one drives along the sharp turns and narrow roads with the wall of mountain on one side and the deep Leh valley on the other is a pure thrill.

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So, include Shanti Stupa in your itinerary of places to visit in Leh and experience the surreal beauty of the high Himalayan landscape!!!

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