World Peace Pagoda also known as the Shanti Stupa is the Buddhist pagoda style monument built as the symbol of peace. World Peace Pagoda has become one of the major tourist attractions of Pokhara. The stupa is rich in Buddhist architecture and arts and its bright white colour adds extra beauty and soothing feelings to the heart. Shanti literally means Peace in Nepal thus names ‘Shanti Stupa’ in Nepalese language .
Out of 80 world peace pagodas in the world, two of them are in Nepal, one being the World Peace Stupa in Pokhara. This is the spiritual spot offering you the place to do a bit of meditation and calm yourself while enjoying the natural setting. Representing the divine mind of Lord Buddha, the temple enshrines His holy relics. According to Buddhist tradition, great merits are bestowed to those who encircle the shrine three times in a clockwise direction. Among the many boons said to be granted are long life, prosperity, and protection.
World Peace Pagoda is located at the crests of the Ananda Hill in Pokhara. It is about an hour drive from the main market area and the visitors have to walk through the steps leading to this holy and peaceful monument. At an elevation of 1100 meters, the pagoda offers sweeping views of the Annapurna mountain range and beautiful Phewa Lake. The sun’s rising and setting are especially stunning from the summit. The shrine has a height of 35 meters and is 105 meters wide. Its white colour symbolizes peace. Two staircases lead to the temple entrance, and two tiers of walkways circumvent the base. Visitors are asked to remove their shoes before treading the sacred steps. Four alcoves of golden Buddhas preside over the mountainside. Each represents historic events in the life of the compassionate sage. Visitors from the world over receive blessings at this tranquil sanctuary.
Peace Temple Pokhara was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk. After meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1931, he dedicated his life to promoting nonviolence. In 1947, distraught by the devastation of World War II, the monk began a mission of building pagodas to encourage worldwide peace. Over the course of 50 years, 80 temples have been built throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. Peace Temple Pokhara opened to the public in 1999. On 28 November 1973, the prayer hall with statues of the Buddha and the Guest Houses were built. When the height of the stupa reached a height of 35 feet , the Royal Nepal Government requested the destruction of the Pagoda and adjacent buildings for security reasons.
Shanti stupa in Pokhara is the first World Peace Pagoda in Nepal and seventy first Pagoda built by Nipponzan- Myohoji in the world. The pagoda is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter. It has the two tiers both with great significance. The second tier represents the statues of four Buddha from different parts of the country as souvenirs. Dharmachakra Mudra from Japan, Bodh Gaya from Sri Lanka, Kushinagar from Thailand and Lumbini from Nepal. Each statue represents important events related to the Buddha and were named according to where they took these incarnations. Dharmachakra is placed below the pinnacle (gajur) which signifies the wheel of life, dharma and the teachings of Lord Buddha. The top of the golden pinnacle holds the crystal stone from Sri Lanka which symbolizes intellect and grace.
There is a hall near the Peace Pagoda known as the Dhamma hall. In this hall there is a Buddha statue and Buddhists rituals take place daily. Whereas large pujas are formed on the important dates according to the Lunar Calendar such as on full moon day. Two staircases lead to the temple entrance, and two tiers of walkways circumvent the base. Visitors are asked to remove their shoes before treading the sacred steps.
Smiling from its serene mountain peak, the shrine inspires unity. A trip to Peace Temple Pokhara is a life-changing pilgrimage. It is the perfect holiday place providing a clear view of the majestic Himalayan ranges, Fewa lake, landscapes, lush green vegetations and Pokhara city. The hilltop provides a splendid view of sunrise and sunset. The pagoda’s architecture itself and white color have blended in the tranquility and serenity of nature. World Peace Pagoda has been ranked in the top five must go places in Pokhara. This is also a spiritual spot offering you a place to do a bit of meditation and calm yourself while enjoying the natural setting. Peace Temple Pokhara welcomes pilgrims daily from 5:30am-5:30pm.
To return, visitors can retrace their route or walk past the temple to the main road. Alternatively, a footpath leads to Chhorepatan and along Pardi Bazaar. From there, a minibus heads back to Lakeside.
World Peace stupa hiking is short one day hiking designed to start from Pokhara. You will hike for 2 to 3 hours depending upon your pace. Hiking to world peace pagoda Pokhara not only offers the wide panoramic mountain view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Mt. Fishtail also provides a top view of Fewa Lake and Pokhara City. Lake is the most common and famous hike route while hiking from Dam side is also an option. Some travelers chose the latter for the route not being steep though it takes a bit longer than the former. This hiking provides the visitor with great spiritual and good energy when they reach the top of the Pagoda. They can cleanse their tired mind, body and soul with the good energy coming from the stupa.
World Peace Pagoda is one of the must visit destinations of Nepal with the serene environment and giving positive and spiritual energy to the visitors. Set in the lap of the hill with the view of the entire Pokhara Valley, it promises to ward off your negative vibes and energy from the soul.
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