The region of Ladakh can be seen dotted with numerous stupas of different types and constructions. Right from painted white heaps and mounds to meticulously constructed geometrical stupas, they can be seen sitting on hilltops, valleys and highways in villages.
Legends have stated that the earliest stupa was just a mound of clay or mud covering the remains and relics of Lord Buddha. After the Parinirvana of Buddha his ashes were collected and placed under 8 different chortens.
Built for different reasons, the distinctive stupas symbolize major events from Buddha’s life. It is a rare sight to see all the 8 different chortens together.
Some locals build stupas themselves as a way to symbolize an event or dedicate it to a senior lama. Some local families commission to having stupas erected for peace and prosperity. In olden days it was even a form of punishment, which could wipe away your bad deeds and bring you good karma.
The different types of stupas are:
Enlightenment Stupa, Stupa of Many Doors, Stupa of Descent from the God Realm, Stupa of Great Miracles, Stupa of Reconciliation and Stupa of Complete Victory.