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                                        Portobello Peace Stupa


A stupa is a traditional Buddhist monument built to bring peace and harmony to the land and people. They also remind Buddhists of the Enlightened qualities Buddha’s mind. There are eight different types of stupa design. This one is called a peace stupa.


The Stupa is situated on a knoll below Hereweka (Harbour Cone) directly above the Otago Harbour township of Portobello on the Otago Peninsula and commands sweeping views of the Otago Harbour, Portobello, Port Chalmers, Harwood and right out to the harbour heads.


The main focus on The Peace Stupa of the year when the Centre community usually visits is for His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s birthday, the 6th of July or a weekend day close to that. On that day a large scale incense offering ceremony is held where ever-green foliage create a fragrant smoke that wafts around the site. Other times of the year groups of people visit to connect with the altruistic intentions embodied in this monument.


The stupa began as an idea of Venerable Jhampa Thupten Tulku’s. It was early March 1996 and he had just taken up the role of DBC’s spiritual director and his most pressing wish was to build a stupa in honour of his Lama and DBC founder Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. By late September the paint was had just dried when Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived to consecrate it. It is dedicated to peace in the world and to the memory of Geshe Dhargyey.


As with other holy sites, Buddhists often circumambulate the stupa three times or more– referred to as doing ‘khora’. Khora involves simply walking around the site keeping one’s right side closest to the construction (in a clockwise direction). This is usually combined with meditation, prayers or mantras, offered with as much humility and compassion as one can.       




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