Vishwa Shanti Stupa, Daijokyo Buddist Temple, Bihar, India

Constructed in 1965, this blazing-white, 40m stupa stands atop the Ratnagiri Hill about 5km south of town. Recesses in the stupa feature golden statues of Buddha in four stages of his life – birth, enlightenment, preaching and death. A fun, but wobbly, single-person chairlift runs to the summit, which affords expansive views of hills and a few Jain shrines dotting the landscape.

Next to the stupa, a Japanese-built peace pagoda reverberates to the rhythmic sound of meditative drum beat. If you walk back down the hill, rather than taking the chairlift, you can detour to the ruined remains of a 1500-year-old stupa, thought to be where Buddha preached to his disciples.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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