World Peace Pagoda Pokhara – Shanti Stupa

The World Peace Pagoda or Bishwa Shanti Stupa is perched high on a narrow ridge some 1113 m above the Phewa Lake of Pokhara, harmoniously blending into the surrounding mountain landscape. The World Peace Pagoda is the personification of the repositories of peace on every continent.

The trek to the World Peace Pagoda helps you find your true self as you come closer to god. You will feel an enormous peace due to the silence of the place, tranquility, and the views offered.

Apart from self-realization, the trek to the Stupa also offers a scenic view of Pokhara, Lake Phewa, and the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Nepal Himalayas.

History of Origin of World Peace Pagoda

A Buddhist monk and founder of the Nipponzan-Myohoji-Daisanga, a group that emerged from the Nichiren movement,  Nichidatsu Fujii built most of the stupas worldwide. After meeting with the pioneer of peace, Mahatma Gandhi in 1931, he devoted his life to promoting nonviolence worldwide and resolved to construct 100 stupas worldwide. In the year 1947, he began the construction of peace houses as sanctuaries for World Peace.

The first World Peace Pagoda appeared after 1947 in the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to bring hope for peace and tranquility after the nuclear bombings. About 80 Peace Pagodas exist worldwide: in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Peace Pagoda of Pokhara is the 71st among the 80 stupas he built.

In 1973, he met Meen Bahadur Gurung through Dharamshila Buddha Vihar Nadipur Pokhara and inaugurated the pagoda’s construction. Nepal has two Shanti stupas built: one in Pokhara and another in Lumbini.

On the way to World Peace Pagoda
On the way to World Peace Pagoda

Description of World Peace Pagoda

The World Peace Pagoda is situated in Meen Thumki of Andudanda in Pumdivhumdi of Pokhara city, built in Japanese style, placing the bones of Shakyamuni Buddha. The Stupa has become Pokhara’s main attraction and tourist hub, offering panoramic views of Machhapuchhre Himal, Sarangkot, and Phewa Lake.

From the bank of Lake Phewa, the spiral paths and stairs will take you to the bright white building of the World Peace Pagoda erected on a narrow spur above Lake Phewa. The white stair symbolizes purification.

The World Peace Pagoda itself is also snow-white and rounded. Built in pagoda style, the Stupa is like an overturned alms bowl of Buddha.

The top of the hill offers stunning views of the city of Pokhara, Phewa Lake, and the surrounding mountains. Many tourists visit the Peace Pagoda to meet the sunrise or watch the order.

The peace pagoda is 115 ft in height and 344 ft wide and comprises two tiers. The second tier is adorned with four Buddha statues sent from different nations as souvenirs for world peace. Japan sent Dharmachakra Mudra, Sri Lanka sent Mahaparinivana, and Thailand sent Kushinagar and Lumbini from Nepal.

The statues are installed symmetrically and geographically, looking north, south, west, and east. On the south side is the Nepal statue depicting the Buddha’s position when he was born. The statue from Thailand is in the North, and those from Japan and Sri Lanka are in the west and east.

All these idols have their characteristics and importance. Buddhist pilgrims stand before the statue and chant Trivandhana—Buddham sharanam gachchami, Dhammam sharanam gachchami, and Sangham sharanam gachchami.

Near the World Peace Pagoda on the hill is a small cafe where you can drink tea and shelter in bad weather.

Kathmandu Pokhara Tour
US$ 650

How to get to Peace Pagoda?

Regular buses run from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, to the city of Pokhara. The journey takes about 6 hours; you can choose a regular public bus or a deluxe bus. The bus fare varies depending on your transport mode, but approximately NPR 1100 to NPR 1600 is sufficient.

You can also fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu at a fare of approximately $30 to $150. a flight to Pokhara only takes 30 minutes.

From the city of Pokhara to reach the World Peace Pagoda, you can:

  1. Reach on foot: The road is graveled but suitable. The length of the path to the stairs is 4 km. 2 to 3 hours of the hike will take you to the peak of the Stupa.
  2. On a multi-colored boat: Cross Lake Phewa, then walk uphill to the Stupa for about 20-30 minutes. By arrangement, the boatman can wait for you and take you back.
  3. By taxi or shuttle bus: World Peace Pagoda is 6km from the central part of Pokhara. Regular buses pass thrice daily at 10 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm. You can get to the hill by taxi or shuttle bus, then on foot to the top. It takes about 10 minutes to trek up the hill.

Entrance to the Pokhara World Peace Pagoda is free. You cannot wear shoes on the stairs and the territory of the Stupa of Peace, so it is better to bring socks to avoid walking barefoot.

Tourist in Shanti Stupa
Tourist in Shanti Stupa

Attractions of Peace Pagoda

Apart from the views of Pokhara city and surrounding mountains on the backdrop, the World Peace Pagoda is the religious destination for those who seek peace for their soul through Yoga and meditation. Many tourists come here to indulge in the tranquil and noiseless surroundings of the Stupa.

The management committee of the Stupa also arranges free accommodation if the followers of Buddhism come for meditation. However, you must wake up at 4 a.m. and attend the 4:30 and evening worship while staying here. The guest committee can accommodate up to 8 people per day. Some tourists attracted by the natural scenery have stayed for a few days in the guest house and learned Buddhism.

The periphery of the Stupa is a great picnic spot, while Andudanda has become a dynamic destination for cyclists.

Meditation at Shanti Stupa
Meditation at Shanti Stupa

Retreating places near Peace Pagoda

There are many restaurants and cafes around Stupa. However, accommodation facilities like hotels and lodges are very few. If you want to spend a night and watch the sunrise, you can stay in the:

1 – Raniban Resort

At a mere 10-minute walking distance from the Stupa, Raniban Resort perched, welcoming its guests and tourists. Although expensive, the resort is state-of-the-art and equipped with luxurious amenities. The environment is eco-friendly, giving you the most peaceful retreat of your trip. Start your morning with the view of the majestic mountains of Annapurna, Lake Phewa, Peace Pagoda, and Pokhara City from the comfort of your room.

2 – Peace Dragon Lodge and Restaurant

Peace Dragon Lodge is a 2-star guest house service located on World Peace Pagoda, 4.4 km away from the central part of Pokhara. Aimed at medium-budget tourists, the prices here are affordable, and meals at the restaurants are varied. The lodge also provides business services and offers meeting or banquet rooms. They offer free internet service to their guests for easy connectivity.

3 – Nanohana Lodge

Nanohana entices guests with a sundeck and a library and is adjacent to Basundhara Park. The property is a 5-minute drive from Devi’s fall. The center of Pokhara is 2 km from the villa. Fewa Lake Restaurant and Bar and Yarsa the Thakali Kitchen serving various delicacies are about 125 meters from the property. Nanohana is located near Shiva Mandir.

The rooms are furnished with tiled floors; the air-conditioned rooms have a writing desk, free Wi-Fi, and a work desk. The bathroom includes a shower and a bathtub with a shower cap, bath sheets, and towels.

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