I used to visit Zalaszántó with my family when I was a little child, and even though none of us practiced the Buddhist religion, we loved the surroundings of the Peace Stupa. This sacred place is Europe’s biggest such edifice, that was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama himself back in 1993. It is a great destination for everybody since it can be found in the endlessly peaceful environment. The forest clearing that serves as home to this holy place is only a 30-minute-long trip from the shore of Lake Balaton and only ten kilometers from the Rezi Adventure Park. On the other hand, and I should have started with its particular characteristic, the Stupa has an intensively positive energy that you can benefit from, whether you are a believer or not. Just give it a chance, really!
Although the road heading to its entrance is a little rough even by car, it’s not so dangerous that you’ll need a jeep to approach or something. It can be a perfect choice for hikers as well, considering that you can reach the clearing where the Stupa is situated in about a pleasant 40-min-long walk. The sound of wind, the birds’ chirping and every element of the Stupa’s surrounding is just hard to explain. Every time I arrive, the unadulterated smell of the incense sticks and the sound of the wind bells make me calm in a blink of an eye. I’m pretty sure I am going to bring here my own children one day, and I also encourage you all to experience the magic of this place by yourselves. If you are lucky enough, you’ll have a chance even to meet some of the monks living here in Zalaszántó at the Stupa.
As for its size, the Peace Stupa is 30 meters high and 24 meters wide, which makes it the biggest stupa on the entire continent. There are further six stupas in the area of Hungary. Most of them can be visited freely, but admittedly, the one in Zalaszántó is the most majestic of all. The main edifice, the Stupa itself, is all-white, and it is actually a three-storey tomb of Buddha’s earthly remains. Yes, I meant it. The Peace Stupa of Zalaszántó is the only sanctuary in Europe that includes the original Buddha relics. By relics, I mean the tiny bones that initially had been in Tibet. However, during the occupation of the Chinese, they were salvaged and fled to India. Being kept even in a Swiss Buddhist school in the meantime, their final tomb became the Peace Stupa in Zalaszántó on 28th July 1992. Ever since it is a sacred place of pilgrimage.
Right next to the Stupa, there is a Meditation Center, where regular meditations are held by local monks. Don’t be afraid of joining them, since it was actually the original goal of certain Bop Jon, a South-Korean monk. He was the mastermind of the Stupa back in 1990 when he decided to build one in a regime changer country that accepts and embraces a Far Eastern religion’s sanctuary to create harmony, development and wealth. Besides, according to the doctrines of Buddhism, a stupa has a living power, and it is supposed to free you from every negative energy. Are you in need of something like that? Well, come and see Europe’s biggest Stupa in Zalaszántó, and leave as a new-born person.
Cover Photo © Credit to anderm / iStockphoto
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