Construction of Stupa

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The construction of stupas is a meritorious work as the monument itself propagates Doctrine . These stupas are the circular tumuli built of earth , covered with stone or brick , the plan , elevation , section and the total form of which were derived from the circle the EMBRYO of the most powerful architectural form of Buddhism. The stupas are also known as RELIC-SHRINES .REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) ,

Stupas became a cosmic symbol in response to a major human condition: death. With the enlightenment of the Buddha stupas became a particularly Buddhist symbol. They incorporate the ancient, pre-Buddhist burial mounds and elements of the Brahmanic religion. The central axis comes conceptually from the ideal of the centre, the axis mundi, and physically from the sacrificial stake. The stupa shape can be found in many of natures forms. The Buddhist tree of enlightenment called the Bodhi, Bodhi is a Pali word for enlightenment.

Stupas are physically composed of the four elements earth, air, fire and water. Symbolically of the Three Refuges and a three-fold summary of the Eight Fold Path all topped by direct experience of Nibanna.

REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) ,

Of the early stupas some were centred around sacrificial stakes but all evolved as burial mounds. As Buddhism spread there was an increase in both general support and the funds available. This, together with advances in construction techniques saw the stupa increase in size both volumetrically and vertically.

A centered construction designed to draw the viewer to their own still centre through silent contemplation. The basic form is a circle (heaven) inside a square (earth). The conceptual components of a stupa (cube, sphere, cone) interlock and the shared axis leads the viewer s line of sight upwards to the apex a symbol of the goal of Buddhism, nibbana.REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) ,


A year-round seat in the West for Monks and their Dharma activity Traditional full cremation services appropriate for Buddhist practitioners and available to all A permanent facility for their weekly programs and periodic retreats Highly accomplished monastries With training facilities.

To build a stupa, translations and ceremonies from a buddhist teacher is necessary. Which kind of Stupa to be constructed in a certain area is decided together with the teacher assisting in the construction. Sometimes the type of stupa chosen is directly connected with events that have taken place in the area. The technique of Buddhist architecture was both a science and an art, hence it is also known as Sthapatya-kala , where Sthapana 'to establish and Kala means an art.


A very important element in every Stupa is the Tree of Life. It is a wooden pole covered with gems and thousands of mantras, and placed in the central channel of the stupa.It is placed here during a ceremony or initiation, where the participants hold colorful ribbons connected to the Tree of Life.

All stupas contain a treasury filled with various objects. Small offerings called TsaTsas fill a major part of the treasury. Filling these small clay stupas one layer of TsaTsas are placed, and the empty space between is filled with dry sand. On the new surface appearing, another layer is made, until the entire space of a treasury is full.[The number of treasury are dependent on the size Tsa-Tsas.

REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) , Ancient Indian Architecture (Sanjeev Maheshwari)

Sanchi Stupas:The stupas were hemispherical in shape with a low base. The hemispherical shape symbolized the cosmic mountain. The later stupas assumed an increasingly cylindrical form. The early stupas were known for their simplicity. An inscription by the ivory carvers of Vidisha on the southern gateway throws light on the transference of building material. The early from perishable wood and ivory to the more durable stone.

Diameter : 32.32 m Height : 12.8 m material : solid brick work

REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) ,

Amaravati Stupa:The diameter of the dome of the stupa at ground level was about 48.76 metres and its height was about 30 metres. It had free-standing columns surmounted by lions near the gateways. The dome was covered with sculptured panels. The stupa had an upper circumambulatory path on the drum as at Sanchi. This path had two intricately carved railings. The stone is greenishwhite limestone of the region.

Gandhara stupa:The Gandhara stupa is a further development of stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut. In Gandhara stupas the base, dome and the hemisphere dome are sculpted. The stupa tapers upward to form a tower like structure. The stupas of Nagarjunakonda in Krishna valley were very large. At the base there were brick walls forming wheel and spokes, whish were filled with earth. The Maha Chaitya of Nagarjunakonda has a base in the form of Swastika, which is a sun symbol.REFERNCE : World Architecture (G.K.Hiraskar) ,