Delhi, the city of historical landmarks and heritage sites, has acquired yet another landmark for itself.
The latest landmark called the “Vishwa Shanti Stupa” or peace pagoda is located at the Millennium Park on ring road near the Sarai Kale Khan Bus terminal. It was unveiled by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The landmark also houses some of Budha’s relics in it. The Stupa stands against the backdrop of some magnificent historical buildings like the Old Fort and Humayun’s tomb. The “Vishwa Shanti Stupa” is 28 meters high. Its construction was inspired by the world famous Sanchi Stupa at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh.
Stupas are large hemispherical domes, containing a central chamber, in which the relics of the Buddha are placed. It’s this hemispherical dome which inspired the chief architect of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Edwin Lutyen, who built the imposing dome over the President’s house.
The newest stupa at Delhi is the 74th in the series of stupas or pagodas around the world. It is dedicated to spreading the message of peace and ahimsa given by Nishidatsu Fuji. Nishidatsu Fuji came to India in the year 1931 and became a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi who named him as “Fuji Guruji”. He also set up the Japanese Buddhist order of Nipponzan Myohoji.
The three monkeys depicted here convey the message of Mahatma Gandhi—speak no evil; hear no evil and see no evil. These monkeys were gifted by Fuji to Mahatma Gandhi.
The latest Shanti Stupa is built with white marble and has a golden summit. Its entrance is much like the one found at Sanchi Stupa. The only difference between the two stupas is that while the gate of the Sanchi stupa is made of stone, the one at Delhi is made up of concrete and covered with sculpted fiberglass depicting the Jataka tales.
The original stupa was to be 35 meters high, but its height was later scaled down. It was built at a cost of two crore rupees.
A day before the inauguration, Dr.Karan Singh released a book on Fuji Guruji. He also inaugurated an exhibition. DDA plans to create Japanese style garden around the Stupa to give it a Japanese ambience.
Note: The picture is not of the stupa at Delhi.