BUDDHIST AND JAIN CAVE TEMPLES AND VIHARS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Saniya Mariyam of class IX-C would like to thank my history teacher Mrs. She helped us with the matter and the format which helped me in learning about many new things. This is an ancient practice has had a long tradition in Buddhism.” The Lomas Rishi. In modern texts on Indian architecture. A. . the Sudama (both in the Barabar hills) and the Sita Marhi (Nagarjuni hills) caves are fine examples of the Chaityas which resembled the wooden buildings of the period. The Lomas Rishi. Secondly.[2] The more spectacular and more numerous chaityas. CHAITYA A chaitya is a Buddhist or Jain shrine including a stupa. Barhut and Gaya. [1] The best examples of stupas are those constructed at Amaravati. were built as standing structures with the stupa being surrounded by a colonnaded processional path enclosed by an outer wall with a congregation hall adjoining it. Mishra for guiding me and correcting me through this project. Sanchi. the term chaityagriha is often used to denote assembly or prayer hall that houses a stupa. Chaityas were probably constructed to hold large numbers of devotees and to provide shelter for them. were cut into living rock as caves.[2] Early chaityas. specially at Ajanta rockcut architecture. however. All the ancient Buddhist Chaitya could be found in remote part of Maharashtra. I would like to thank my parents who helped me a lot in finishing this project within the limited time. such as at Bijak-ki-pahadi in Bairat which is ascribed to the emperor Ashoka.I. the Sudama (both in the Barabar hills) and the Sita Marhi (Nagarjuni hills) caves are fine examples of the Chaityas which resembled the wooden buildings of the period.

IPA: [tɕáʊɴ]) is preferred Vihara (िवहार) is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a Buddhist monastery. in Bengal (from the Pala period to the Muslim conquest) Nagarjunakonda. It is called a "Wihan" (ววววว) in Thai. now in Bangladesh (from the Gupta period to the Muslim conquest) Jagaddala. In Burmese. about 55 miles south east of present-day Patna in India (circa 450[5] – 1193 C. in Gujarat (from the Maitrak period to the Arab raids) Varanasi in UP (eigth century to modern times) Kanchipuram." but the native Burmese ̰ word kyaung (ဝဝဝဝဝဝဝ. The northern Indian state of Bihar derives its name from the word "vihara". wihara (ဝဝဝဝဝ.E.1040 C.C. and designates a shrine hall. and designates a shrine hall. The following is a partial list of ancient center of learning in India:              Taxila. IPA: [tɕáʊɴ]) is preferred List of Ancient Indian Viharas Several sites on the Indian subcontinent were centers of learning in ancient times. Chinese: 精舎). In Thailand and China (called jingshe. It originally meant "a secluded place in which to walk". in Andhra Pradesh Vikramaśīla. and referred to "dwellings" or "refuges" used by wandering monks during the rainy season." and denotes a monastery or other non-Muslim places of worship.E.460 C. Chinese: 精舎).) Nālandā. in Kashmir Puspagiri. and referred to "dwellings" or "refuges" used by wandering monks during the rainy season. "vihara" has a narrower meaning. probably due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area.) Odantapuri. In Thailand and China (called jingshe. in Orissa . wihara (ဝဝဝဝဝ. IPA: [wḭhəɹa]).) Somapura. IPA: [wḭhəɹa]). inpresent-day Pakistan (seventh century B. in Tamil Nadu Manyakheta. means "monastery. It originally meant "a secluded place in which to walk". means "monastery. In Burmese. in Bihar (circa 550 ." and denotes a monastery or other non-Muslim places of worship.E. probably due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area. The northern Indian state of Bihar derives its name from the word "vihara". Many were Buddhist monasteries. It is called a "Wihan" (ววววว) in Thai. in Karnataka Sharada Peeth.) Valabhi. .E. The word "vihara" also been borrowed in Malay where it is spelled "biara.E. in Bihar (circa 800 . and a "Vihear" in Khmer." but the native Burmese ̰ word kyaung (ဝဝဝဝဝဝဝ. "vihara" has a narrower meaning.1040 C.VIHAR Vihara (िवहार) is the Sanskrit and Pali term for a Buddhist monastery. The word "vihara" also been borrowed in Malay where it is spelled "biara. and a "Vihear" in Khmer.

THE AJANTA CAVES The Ajanta Caves (Ajiṇṭhā leni. Karle is home to the largest chaitya hall hewn in the rock-cut medium. there are 37 octagonal pillars of remarkable beauty. This chaitya hall is associated with the Buddhist religion. competing ancient kingdoms that battled one another over control of the Western Deccan.[2] The caves were built in two phases starting around 2nd century BCE. is located in front of the chaitya hall. It is cut off of a solid rock to a depth of about 124 feet. The bulk of remaining inscriptions record donations of pious lay Buddhists and mendicants otherwise unknown to history. there are numerous examples of monastic residential architecture at the site.D. Marathi: अिजंठा लेणी) in Aurangabad district ofMaharashtra. The chaitya hall is nearly 38 meterS deep. Although rarely acknowledged.CHAITYA AT KARLE The chaitya at Karle is. The original wood of the umbrella survives even to this day. It is 40 metres long.[3] . At the inner end there is an imposing stupa with a wooden umbrella on the top. with the second group of caves built around 600 CE. A future expansion of this webpage will provide a much more detailed examination of the Karle caves and its diverse architectural tradition. Some of these pillars have capitals on the top. The chaitya hall is apsidal with a central navelike space surrounded by an ambulatory. The capitals have figures of elephants kneeling on bell shaped bases. There is a huge horse shoe arch at the outer end of the opening of the cave. Perhaps the most famous early Buddhist cave site. Karle is also a "living" site. The Karle chaitya differs from other chaityas in one aspect that its façade screen is made of teak wood. the largest of the cave temples. by far. It is said to have been sculptured between 100-125 A. as the Ekvira Devi Mandir. and on pillars inside the hall. There are also thirty-three inscriptions carved in the court. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art (which depict the Jataka tales)[1] as well asfrescos which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka. and both the height and width of the cave measures approximately 14 meters. a temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess. The whole structure appears to rest on the backs of the elephants with metal ornaments and ivory tusks. 15 metres high and 15 metres broad. including a three-storey monastery adjacent to its chaitya hall. Inside. Each column rests in a water jar. The hall was used for prayers and meetings. veranda. India are 30 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd centuryBCE to the 600 CE. It is situated at Karle in Pune district of Maharashtra. These include rare inscriptions of the Satavahanas and Western Kshaharatas. The cave houses approximately one hundred rock-cut sculptures with figural or animal subjects.

All the Buddhist caves were constructed between 630-700. Therefore.28.7. with caves 1-5 in the first phase (400-600) and 6-12 in the later phase (mid 7th-mid 8th). Caves are only about 59 kilometers from JalgaonRailway station (on Delhi . numerous best available artists have been involved in the work with fruitful rivalry between the neighbouring construction sites. and semi-divine forms. animal. from 460 to 480 CE. but recently long-time researcher Walter M. India). The front porch consists of cells supported by pillared vestibules on both ends. For a time it was thought that the work was done over a long period from the fourth to the 7th century AD. and beauty. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12). The capitals are carved and painted with various decorative themes that include ornamental. ceilings. which demanded the special attention of the devotee. According to Spink (2006).[1] Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. 29 km (18 mi) North-West of the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Kannadiga Rashtrakuta dynasty .20. during the reign of EmperorHarishena of the Vakataka dynasty. also called Verul or Elura. Some 20 cave temples were simultaneously created. many areas of the painted walls. for the most part viharas: monasteries with a sanctuary in the structure's rear centre. Rail line of the Central railways.[2] Ellora.26. Scholars disagree about the date of the Ajanta Caves' second period. demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. and pillars are fragmentary. 10. and 104 kilometers from Aurangabad (from Ellora Caves 100 Kilometers). the first phase was the construction of sanctuaries (known as chaytia-grihas) built during the period 100 BCE to 100 CE. The caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. meant to inform the community about the Buddha's teachings and life through successive rebirths. human. The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Their placement on the walls required the devotee to walk through the aisles and 'read' the narratives depicted in various episodes.21.17 and 14) precede these caves. 12 and 15A were constructed during this period. The painted narratives of the Jataka tales are depicted only on the walls. symmetry. The simple single cells on porch-ends were converted into CPVs or were planned to provide more room. Buddhist. 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves. The cells on the previously "wasted areas" were needed to meet the greater housing requirements in later years. created between the fifth and eighth centuries. The earliest Buddhist cave is Cave 6.[4]Murals preserved from this time belong to the oldest monuments of painted art in India. is the corrupted form of the Ancient name Elapura. Each of cave temples seem to be patronised by influential authority. vegetative.[5] Paintings appear on almost every surface of the cave except for the floor. Porch-end cells became a trend in all later Vakataka excavations. The colonnades have rock-beams above and below them. built in proximity. 4. Caves 11 and 12 were the last. 220 CE) in the canyons of the Waghora River.c.[4] . Well known for its monumental caves. but now it is clear to the modern scholars that some of the Hindu caves (27. The caves 9. making an aisle in between.8. Spink declared that most of the work took place over short time period. Each arm or colonnade of the square is parallel to the respective walls of the hall.29.3.2. THE ELLORA CAVES Ellora (Marathi: वेरळ Vērūḷ) also known as Ellooru is an archaeological site. At various places the art work has become eroded due to decay and human interference. the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hall has four colonnades which are supporting the ceiling and surrounding a square in the center of the hall. Ellora is aWorld Heritage Site.10 and 9. just outside the village ofAjinṭhā(20°31′56″N 75°44′44″E).Since 1983. near Jalgaon. It was initially thought that the Buddhist caves were one of the earliest structures.19. followed by 5.[3] These caves were built during the 5th-7th century. probably under the patronage of the Satavahana dynasty (230 BCE . They are didactic in nature. Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and viharas and mathaswere built between the 5th century and 10th century.5 (right wing).Mumbai.

. Amongst other Buddhist caves. Some were of such complexity that they required several generations of planning and co-ordination to complete. sleeping quarters. multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face. King Kharavela and his wife were patrons of art. It is locally known as Vishvakarma or Sutar ka jhopda "carpenter's hut". The last two caves. 15 and 16 were constructed during the Rashtrakuta period. At the heart of this cave is a 15-foot statue of Buddha seated in a preaching pose. The work began in Caves 14 and 15 and culminated in Cave 16. Beyond its multi-storeyed entry is a cathedral-like stupa hall also known as chaitya. The Vishvakarma (Cave 10) is the only chaitya griha amongst the Buddhist group of caves. religion and projects that lead to social welfare such as Orissa's water canal system. The work first commenced in Caves 28. whose ceiling has been carved to give the impression of wooden beams.small. 27 and 19. work was underway at Caves 20 and 26. stunning sculptures and religious importance. VIHARAS AT UDAYGIRI Udayagiri is a Buddhist complex in Orissa composed of major stupas and monasteries (viharas). popularly known as the "Carpenter's Cave". The elaborate images of Gods. which include the Kumbharvada (Cave 25) and the Gopilena (Cave 27) have no significant sculptures.[5] Most famous of the Buddhist caves is cave 10. These two-storied caves once functioned as monasteries for Jain monks and are now a tourist attraction for their architectural style. sculptors have endeavoured to give the stone the look of wood. 19 and 28. two-storied rock cut caves. These were followed by two most impressive caves constructed in the early phase Caves 29 and 21. similar to Ratnagiri. The Hindu caves were constructed between the middle of sixth century to the end of the eighth century. The rest of the Hindu caves. including living quarters. Do Tal (cave 11) and Tin Tal (cave 12) have three stories. Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha. the Ravan ki Khai (Cave 14) and the Nilkantha (Cave 22) also have several sculptures.These structures consist mostly of viharas or monasteries: large. On stylistic grounds. It follows the pattern of construction of Caves 19 and 26 of Ajanta. Other notable Hindu caves are the Rameshvara (Cave 21). the date of construction of this cave is assigned to 700bc. humans.[7] The caves 14. kitchens. which has figurines of river goddessesGanga and Yamuna at the entrance and the Dhumar Lena (Cave 29) whose design is similar to the cave temple on Elephanta Island near Mumbai. The early caves (caves 17–29) were constructed during the Kalachuri period. Belonging to the Mahameghavahana dynasty. a chaitya hall (chandrashala) or 'Vishvakarma cave'.[7] All these structures represent a different style of creative vision and execution skills. some with verandas and others without. and slightly later at Caves 17. animals and birds tell tales of an ancient time when Orissa was a thriving cultural and commercial hub known by the name of Kalinga. Along with these two. and together with Lalitgiri and Ratnagiri part of Puspagiri University. Two other caves. In many of these caves. bodhisattvas and saints. and other rooms. The rock cut caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri date back to the 1st century BC when king Kharavela ruled the Kalinga Empire. Each cave in the Jain monument complex at Khandagiri and Udayagiri are similar in make . all of the first nine (caves 1–9) are monasteries.

sometimes hundreds of miles. Lauriya-Nandangarh. the pillar at Allahabad (is believed as originally located at Kaushambi) and the pillars found at Lauriya-Areraj. always in the round and chiseled as a single piece with the abaci. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out as residential blocks for Jain monks during the reign of King Kharavela. carved into the face of rocks or on stone pillars marking out a domain . Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehrner conducted several obelisk erecting experiments including a successful attempt to erect a 25 ton obelisk in 1999. and weighing up to fifty tons each. Sanchi andSarnath. were dug out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jaina ascetics. slightly tapering upwards and always chiselled out of a single piece of stone. The crowning animals are either seated or standing. the others of buff-colored fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi. The abaci are of two types: square and plain and circular and decorated and these are of different proportions. Some were of the spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura. The columns bearing dedicatory inscriptions were found in Lumbini and Nigalisagar. Originally.[4]) Erecting the Pillars The Pillars of Ashoka may have been erected using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks. The uniformity of style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted by craftsmen from the same region. They determined that the script referred to King Piyadasi which was also the epithet of an Indian ruler known as Ashoka who came to the throne 218 years after Buddha's enlightenment. It would therefore seem that stone was transported from Mathura and Chunar to the various sites where the pillars have been found. The most important of this group is Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery. Udayagiri means "Sunrise Hill" and has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves. Udayagiri and Khandagiri. erected or at least inscribed withedicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC. Many are preserved in a fragmentary state. In the 1830sJames Prinsep began to decipher them with the help of Captain Edward Smith and George Turnour. Rampurva (with lion capital). This followed two experiments to erect smaller obelisks and two failed attempts to erect a 25 ton obelisk. Initially he assumed that from the way it glowed that it was made of brass. to where they were erected. ASHOKAN PILLARS The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent.he caves are situated on two adjacent hills. just south ofVaranasi and dragged.[2] The columns that bear the edicts of Ashoka include the two pillars at Delhi (originally located at Meerut and Topra in Haryanaand were brought to Delhi during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughluqin 1356). called lena or leṇa in the inscriptions. Sankissa. all the pillars were quarried at Chunar. there must have been many pillars but only nineteen survive with inscriptions. and there was cut and carved by craftsmen[5] The pillars have four component parts.[7][8] History of discovery The first Pillar of Ashoka was found in the 16th century by Thomas Coryat in the ruins of ancient Delhi. Scholars have since found 150 of Ashoka's inscriptions. but on closer examination he realized it was made of highly polished sandstone with upright script that resembled a form of Greek. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves. The pillars found at Vaishali (with single lion capital) and Rampurva (with bull capital) do not bear any edict. The capitals have the shape and appearance of a gently arched bell formed of lotus petals.[4] These pillars were carved in two types of stone. The shafts are always plain and smooth. The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri. circular in cross-section. mentioned as Kumari Parvat in the Hathigumpha inscription.[1]Averaging between forty and fifty feet in height.

Singhpur. or dharmachakra). Pāli: थुप "thūpa". sometimes called the Aśoka Column is still in its original location. the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism. if they wanted to visit a place for that reason. typically the remains of Buddha. Rishipattana. Isipatana is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit. time. and Buddhist law (the wheel of law. Sarnath is located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi. Sinhalese: සථපය. This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base was placed onto the center of the National Flag of India. but the Lion Capital is now in the Sarnath Museum.that stretched across northern India and south below the central plateau of the Deccan. separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. now in the state of Uttar Pradesh. stūpa. It was originally placed atop the Aśoka pillar atSarnath. was the birth place of Shreyansanath. used by Buddhists as a . There is a similar intact Ashoka pillar in Thailand (see photo) with a similar four lion capital intact and crowned with Ashoka Chakra / Dharmachakra.000 Stupas commemorating the events and relics of Buddha's life. a village one km away from the site. a bull. the capital was believed to be crowned by a 'Wheel of Dharma' (Dharmachakra popularly known in India as the "Ashoka Chakra"). and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.. Legend has it that Ashoka built 84. These pillars were placed in strategic sites near border cities and trade routes. with a frieze carrying sculptures in highrelief of an elephant. standing back to back. which has now been lost. and a temple dedicated to him. "a hundred and fifty thousand people were deported. STUPAS A stupa (from Sanskrit: m. India by Emperor Ashoka circa 250 BC. mounted on an abacus.[The Lion capital of Sarnath is a sculpture of four "Indian lions" standing back to back. The wheel represents the sun. The inscriptions on the pillars described edicts about morality based on Buddhist tenets. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone. in Uttar Pradesh. India. ackground of construction Ashoka ascended to the throne in 269 BC inheriting the empire founded by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya.[10][11] THE LION CAPITAL OF THE SARNATH PILLAR Sarnath (Hindi: सारनाथ) or Sārnātha (also Mrigadava. Migadāya. a hundred thousand were killed and as many as that perished. while the swastika stands for the cosmic dance around a fixed center and guards against evil. is an important pilgrimage site. a galloping horse... Isipatana) is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma. while others contained interior walls in a swastika shape. and a lion. The capital contains four lions (Indian / Asiatic Lions). literally meaning "heap") is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics. Some of these Stupas contained networks of walls containing the hub spokes and rim of a wheel. Ashoka was reputedly a tyrant at the outset of his reign. Buddhism didn't become a state religion but with Ashoka's support it spread rapidly." After this event Ashoka converted to Buddhism in remorse for the loss of life. Eight years after his accession he campaigned in Kalinga where in his own words. सतूप. The pillar.

the emperor Asoka had the original stupas opened and the remains distributed among the several thousand stupas he had built. After the parinirvana of the Buddha. However. The main stupa itself is empty. kharoshti. the sphere of formlessness. the harmika (a square platform with railings on top of the stupa). in the Western context. Today. which is the reason they have been standing undamaged for thousands of years. The upper rounded terrace with rows of bell shaped stupas contained buddha images symbolizing Arupadhatu. symbolizing complete perfection of enlightenment. After "stupa". The main stupa is only the crown part of the monument. the stupas at the eight places associated with the life of the Buddha continued to be of particular importance. and is believed to be one of the most ancient stupas in the world. while the tallest is the Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom. Stupas are an ancient form of mandala.[citation needed] Ghalegay hosts one of the biggest stupas at Mohallah Singardar in district Swat. particularly since it has not been possible to identify the original ten monuments.000 stupas all over the south Asia.[2] Sri Lanka also boasts construction of stupas. the first stupa to be built was the Thuparamaya. Indonesia. In the third century BC. his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight stupas with two further stupas encasing the urn and the embers. the vedica (fence-like enclosure evolved from the vedic villages). As a consequence their appearance changed also. India. Pakistan. after his conversion to Buddhism.Thailand. at a height of 127 metres. Buddhist stupas are classified based on form and function into five types:[3] . The most elaborate stupa is the 8th century Borobudur monument in Java.[citation needed] They evolved into large hemispherical mounds with features such as the torana (gateway). the importance of a stupa changed from being a funerary monument to being an object of veneration. for example the use of 'lightning conductors' and 'special shelters (vatadage)'. From the third century BC onwards. But in general stupa is used for a Buddhist structure of India or south-east Asia. Accordingly. while pagoda refers to a building in east Asia which can be entered and which may be secular in purpose. The term "reliquary" is sometimes used. an ancient port near Mumbai. The oldest known stupa is the Dhamek Stupa at Sarnath. while the base is pyramidal structure elaborate with galleries adorned with bas relief of scenes derived from Buddhist text depicted the life of Siddharta Gautama. seem to be embellishments of earlier mounds. [edit]Types of stupas Built for a variety of reasons.[1] Description and history The stupa is the oldest Buddhist religious monument and was originally only a simple mound of mud or clay to cover relics of theBuddha (cetiya). after a Christian functional equivalent. According to Brahmi. Later on Sri Lanka went on to build many stupas over the years. Borobudur unique and significant architecture has been acknowledge by UNESCO as the largest buddhist monument in the world. Stupas were built in Sri Lanka soon after King Devanampiyatissaconverted to Buddhism. Nevertheless. such as at Sarnath and Sanchi. Little is known about these early stupas.place of worship. Pali and Sanskrit edicts Ashoka the great founded 84. The stupa evolved into the pagoda as Buddhism spread to other Asian countries. chattrayashti (the parasol or canopy) and acircumambulatory around the stupa. which have used most advanced engineering techniques and knowledge. some like the Jetavanarama in Anuradhapurabeing one of the tallest ancient structures in the world. some later stupas. there is no clear distinction between the stupa and the pagoda. "chorten" is the most commonly encountered English term. One such stupa was discovered at Sopara. The pagoda has varied forms that also include bellshaped and pyramidal ones. stupas were incorporated into the hall of the chaitya-griha.

his disciples and lay saints are interred. It is not necessary that the jewellery be expensive. one layer of Tsa-Tsas are placed. Small offerings called Tsa-Tsas fill a major part of the treasury. transmissions and ceremonies from a Buddhist teacher is necessary. Creation of various types of Tsa-Tsas is a ceremony itself.[6] It is believed that the more objects placed into the stupa.[6] . usually at the site of prominent stupas which are regularly visited. Mantras written on paper are rolled into thin rolls. until the entire space of a treasury is full.  Object stupa . Vedica-It is a railing meant for the protection of the holy place. the Kalachakra stupa in southern Spain has approximately 14 000 Tsa-Tsas within.  Commemorative stupas . another layer is made.  Symbolic stupa.in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples such as a begging bowl or robe. Borobuddur is considered to be the symbol of "the Three Worlds (dhatu) and the spiritual stges (bhumi) in a Mahayana bodhisattva's character. or important Buddhist scriptures.[6] Treasury All stupas contain a treasury filled with various objects.[6] The number of Tsa-Tsas are dependent on the size of both the treasury and Tsa-Tsa. Relic stupa . Medhi-It is an elevated circular path around the stupa used for Pradhikshina Toran-It is the Gateway to the stupa.to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology. On the new surface appearing. and put into these small clay stupas.constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits. Five purified elements Although not described in any Tibetan text on stupa symbolism.[6] Jewellery and other "precious" objects are also placed in the treasury.built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples. the stronger the energy of the Stupa will be. Sometimes the type of stupa chosen is directly connected with events that have taken place in the area."[3]  Votive stupas . and the empty space between is filled with dry sand. since it is the symbolic value that is important. since it should be completely filled.in which the relics or remains of the Buddha.[6] Which kind of Stupa to be constructed in a certain area is decided together with the teacher assisting in the construction. the stupa may represent the five purified elements:[5]      The square base represents earth The hemispherical dome/vase represents water The conical spire represents fire The upper lotus parasol and the crescent moon represents air The sun and the dissolving point represents the element of space [edit]Construction To build a stupa. for example. For example.[6] Filling the treasury. [edit]Features    of a stupa Harmika-It is built on the top of the oval shaped stupa. not the market price.

when proper restoration work was initiated.[2] Further stupas and other religious Buddhist and early Hindu structures were added over the following centuries until the 12th century CE. and will start to function. which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. which are stored in the Tree of Life. such as being born into a rich family. In this way the stupa is charged up. It has four profusely carved ornamental gateways and a balustrade encircling the whole structure. India.[6] [edit]Benefits Building a stupa is considered extremely beneficial. leaving very positive karmic imprints in the mind. General Taylor. It is a nagar panchayat in Raisen district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. trust. in which one's wishes are fulfilled quickly. one will also be able to reach enlightenment. and placed in the central channel of the stupa. the monuments of Sanchi went out of use and fell into a state of disrepair. around fifty monuments remain on the hill of Sanchi. Amateur archaeologists and treasure hunters ravaged the site until 1881. Between 1912 and 1919 the structures were restored to their present condition under the supervision of Sir John Marshall. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. giving the temple an almost ‘classical’ appearance (Mitra 1971). It is a wooden pole covered with gems and thousands of mantras.[8] SANCHI STUPA Sanchi known for its "Stupas" is a small village in Raisen District of the stateof Madhya Pradesh. a nice voice. where the participants hold colorful ribbons connected to the Tree of Life. it is located 46 km north east of Bhopal. Fortunate worldly benefits will be the result. including three stupas and several temples. The monuments have been listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1989. The interior and three sides of the exterior are plain and undecorated but the front and the pillars are elegantly carved. was the first known Western historian to document (in English) the existence of Sanchi (Sāñcī). It was crowned by the chatra. a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank. It is said this action will leave the mind in a state of paranoia after death has occurred. With the decline of Buddhism in India.[7] On the absolute level. A British officer in 1818. similar to killing. he 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India[1] and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.[6] It is placed here during a ceremony or initiation. Together the participants make their most positive and powerful wishes. leading to massive future problems. and 10 km from Besnagar and Vidisha in the central part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. and courage.[8] Such an action is explained to create massive negative karmic imprints. .. and being attractive and bringing joy to others and having a long and happy life. quickly.[6] Today. Toranas surround the Stupa and they each represent love. Temple 17 is probably one of the earliest Buddhist temples as it dates to the early Gupta period. having a beautiful body.[7] Destroying a stupa on the other hand. It is the location of several Buddhist monuments dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century CE and is one of the important places of Buddhist pilgrimage. is considered an extremely negative deed. leading to totally unfortunate rebirths. It consists of a flat roofed square sanctum with a portico and four pillars. the goal of Buddhism. peace. Future benefits from this action will result in fortunate rebirths.[edit]Tree of Life A very important element in every Stupa is the Tree of Life.

16% of the population is under 6 years of age. [edit]Gallery . and to female literacy is 57%.Demographics As of 2001 India census. Sanchi has an average literacy rate of 67%. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%.[7] Sanchi had a population of 6. In Sanchi.5%: male literacy is 75%. higher than the national average of 59.785.

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