The Shanti Stupa [Peace Pagoda; Location: Anadu Hill, Kaski District; Pokhara City, Nepal]; a Buddhist monument symbolising World Peace. Built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk Morioka Sonin with local supporters under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk and the founder of Nipponzan-Myōhōji.
Built atop the Anadu Hill in Pumdi Bhumdi Village, the Shanti Stupa sits at an altitude of 2100 metres above sea level, approximately 7 kilometres from the main market of Pokhara City. The Hill offers an intricate view of the Pokhara Valley, the majestic snow-capped Annapurna Range – home to three of the world’s ten tallest mountains and the Phewa Lake.
Standing at a height of 115ft with a 344ft diameter, this Shanti Stupa [Peace Pagoda] is one of 80 in the world, and 1/2 of the ones in Nepal – the other one located at Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and another tourist hotspot.
The complex is spread over 11000 sq. ft. of land. gorgeous piece of architecture complimented by a even more serene natural views-cape. Painted a brilliant snow white, it emits radiance in the presence of the sun, as if mirroring the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna range. From the rectangular base of the pagoda, a 37-step stairway leads up to the central structure, the second tier where a Golden Buddha Statue is situated. The first level at the base of the stairs or the balcony on the second floor are meant for visitors to circumambulate.
What to look out for:
The pagoda houses 4 significant statues of Buddha related to significant events of his life, brought in from various parts of the world. These are situated at the four cardinal points of the compass:
- Dharmacakra Mudra from Japan on the North – symbolising the Wheel of Life, the teachings of Buddha & the Religion.
- Bodh Gaya from Sri Lanka to the West; a crystal stone symbolising intellect and grace.
- Kushinagar from Thailand on the East; a 6-feet tall statue
- Lumbini from Nepal on the Southside; sculpted by a local sculptor
The Dhamma Hall built alongside the pagoda is used to celebrate auspicious events such as the birthday of Buddha, important rituals and prayer gatherings alongside the pagoda itself. The Hall is also home to 12 statues of Buddha and a few guest rooms.
How to Visit:
This monument is popular with local, regional and international tourists and pilgrims and thus, a wide array of transport options are available to visit this places –
- Bus Systems
- Private Cars & Taxi Services
- Pokhara Airport Direct Service
- Hill Trekking
- Canoeing to the hill
We chose to take the taxi service to the Anadu Hill and there, we were greeted by an upward hill trek, designed & constructed for trekking since it attracts so many tourists. We made our way up an hour long (and tiring!) journey to the Shanti Stupa. You can tell you have reached the summit of the hill when you see a path lined on both sides with colourful Tibetan prayer flags.
- Don’t worry! There are tonnes of restaurants and cafes on the trekking journey to the stupa!
- In Summer (April – September), the public can visit from 5:30am – 6:00pm. We advise you not to go there during peak sunlight hours as the platform gets hot and you have to visit barefoot , the ferocious sun and cloudless sky do not help the case.
- In Winter ( October – March), the place is open for visiting from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
What We Saw:
The pagoda itself, standing proud with its white, pure presence casts an overwhelming feeling of serenity at first glance. Surrounding this gorgeous architectural monument is a majestic natural scenery consisting of the Phewa Lake, The Annapurna Range against the horizon and the Pokhara Valley. The mirror-like surface of the Phewa Lake, the snow-capped mountains of the Mountain Range, the blue sky and the urban-natural landscape come together to form a brilliant image of a natural haven, assimilated with human structures! The surrounding sound of water only adds to the essence of the experience!
The scenery along with all the components together give you an inner peace like no other. Amazingly, we realised later that we could see the World Peace Pagoda or at least the its golden structural peak from all around the Pokhara Valley as if it we’re looking over us like a guardian angel of peace – a 360 degree view!
That’s why it is called the World Peace Pagoda, emitting an aura of eternal peace which provides a sense of escapism to tourists running away from their busy lives and pilgrims seeking a quiet, natural haven in search of their inner Shanti.
We definitely recommend a visit here and most importantly, don’t forget your camera!
Anyway, Bidding farewell to the chaotic 2020, we look towards a more peaceful and hopeful 2021. What better way to embody such wishful thinking except by posting a photo of the very monument that embodies World Peace? Here’s to a more hopeful and peaceful 2021!
You can also check our entire Nepal experience by clicking over here: Travel to Nepal