The Peace Pagoda in Pokhara is an example of serenity and bliss. The Pagoda is perched on top of a small hill and is wonderfully draped in white, symbolizing its purity and taintless nature. It overlooks the Annapurna Mountains and simultaneously reflects on the tranquil Fewa Lake below. Peace Pagoda is a great place for wanderers who are in a search of peace and silence. Tripadvisor has ranked Peace Pagoda as the second must visit site in the Pokhara valley. This further solidifies the claim that the Peace Pagoda is a place that should be visited. The premises of the pagoda is intentionally made silent so as to preserve its tranquility and to indulge visitors in the art of meditation.
History of Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda was constructed after the end of World War 2 by Buddhist monks with the objective to inspire peace to all the people around the globe. Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of Nipponzan-Myohoji organization took on the task of building over 80 of such peace pagodas in the world. Accompanied by Morioka Sonin, Dharamshila Guruma, and Min Bahadur Gurung, the Pagoda began to take shape. It is estimated that in order to complete this behemoth structure, an estimated USD 1 million dollars was spent. In memory of the deputy defense minister, Min Bahadur Gurung, a statue was built to honor the land donated by him.
On 28 November 1973, the prayer hall with the Buddha Statue was built. While building this magnificent building, the adjacent buildings and shed were destroyed as it tarnished the view and mood. Initially, the government was against the idea of a construction of such a monument, but with the constant support from Nipponzan-Myōhōji, the building started to take shape. On 21 May 1992, after a very long journey, the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala came to Pokhara and re-laid the building blocks. The building was easily completed after this green card from the Government.
How to Get Peace Pagoda
The most popular way to reach the world Peace Pagoda is to hire a rowing boat from Lakeside, and then boat all the way over to the shore. From the shore, it is a steep climb to the top, which takes approximately 45 minutes to walk. The trail is pretty steep and slippery so be careful. As you make your way up, you can see numerous small cafes and restaurants. There are souvenir shops as well. After visiting the Pagoda, you can either head back to the shore and boat ride to Lakeside or head down to the main road of the another way and catch a bus/taxi to Lakeside, Pokhara. The price of a boat is about 800 rupees, and an additional 20 rupees is charged for a life jacket. While boating towards the Pagoda, you can choose to visit the Tal Barahi temple as well. It is a small temple which is dedicated to Bhagwati. You can see numerous people there busy in prayers.
Instead of taking a boat, hire a taxi or a bus, which will take you to the Peace Pagoda. The drive lasts for about 20 minutes from Lake Side Pokhara. The price of a taxi can be relatively expensive in comparison to a bus but it is worth it. A taxi to the top may take from somewhere between 500 to 800 rupees.
Permit and fees to Enter Peace pagoda
There are no permit fees required to enter the Peace Pagoda. As you make your way to the summit of the hill, you can see numerous stalls selling souvenirs and food items. Spend a few bucks and purchase souvenirs as it will be a memento of your time here in Pokhara. You can buy food as well but don’t litter the area. There are strong rules and regulation in Pokhara, which dictate that proper waste management is to be made.
Some interesting facts about World Peace Pagoda
- The World Peace Pagoda stands on top of the Anadu Hill and accentuates the beauty of the Pokhara valley.
- The Pagoda is draped in white with a golden top.
- It is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter.
- The Pagoda is divided into two flats. Each flat consist of significant space, which allows the traveler to circumambulate.
- Inside the pagoda, you are not allowed to wear shoes. You must take them off below the gate.
- The second floor of the pagoda displays 4 statues of Buddha. It was gifted from 4 different places. ‘Dharmachakra Mudra’ from Japan, ‘Bodh Gaya’ from Sri Lanka, ‘Kushinagar’ from Thailand, and 'Lumbini' from Nepal. Each statue symbolizes an important event, which took place in the life of Gautam Buddha.
- The Dharmachakra resides below the pinnacle that signifies the wheel of life. It also means Dharma, which is directly related to the teachings preached by Buddha.
- The summit of the Golden Gajur holds a crystal stone. It is a gift from Sri Lanka and signifies intellect and grace. There is a hall nearby, which is called the Dhamma Hall, and there is a Buddha statue in it. Various rituals and pujas are held in that hall during special occasions.
Things to do around the Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda serves as a perfect weekend getaway for those who are residing in Pokhara. If you are new to this city, then obviously it is a must visit place in Pokhara. The amazing part here is the blissful silence, cool breeze, and an amazing view of the Pokhara valley and the Mountains. On top of the pagoda, you can choose to meditate or even interact with the monks residing there. To make your trip much more interesting, you can choose to hike from Lakeside. You can even choose to get on a boating trip from Phewa Lake and then hike to the Peace Pagoda. This journey will be entertaining too.
Another option that many people use is that they hire a bicycle and then bike to the pagoda. Finding a bike is pretty easy as it costs only Rs. 800 a day. The Peace Pagoda visit can be combined with a visit to other natural sites too. For instance, you can make a visit to the Davis Falls, and after you have observed its roaring rapids, you can descend to the Gupteshwor Mahadev cave. It sits just across the road. The water of the Davis Falls goes through the cave, and the sound of the water can be heard inside the cave. After visiting the cave, we can make our way to the Peace Pagoda.
The Peace Pagoda is a quintessential aspect during your visit to Pokhara. It oozes peace & bliss and is a great stress reliever as well. Be sure to visit this landmark to truly comprehend the beauty of nature, the Peace Pagoda in Pokhara.