Slide 2 THE STUPA The stupa is the most characteristic monument of Buddhist India. Originally stupas were mounds covering the relics of the Buddha or his followers. In its earliest stages Buddhist art didn't represent the Buddha directly. Instead, his presence was alluded to through symbols such as the bo tree, the wheel of law or his footprint. The stupa also became a symbol of the Buddha. In a larger sense the stupa is also a cosmic symbol. Its hemispherical shape represents the world egg. Stupas commonly rest on a square pedestal and are carefully aligned with the four cardinal points of the compass. Stupas are large-scale memorials built in particularly holy places. Generally they enshrine relics of some sort. Shanti Stupa of Ladakh is located on the hilltop at Changspa. It can be reached quite easily from the Fort Road. The Stupa was constructed by a Japanese Buddhist organization, known as 'The Japanese for World Peace'. The aim behind the construction of the stupa was to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism and to promote World Peace. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama inaugurated the Shanti Stupa in the year 1985. Slide 3 THE STUPA As a building type the stupa is the forerunner of the pagoda. However, the stupa has also come to be known, on a smaller scale, as the reliquary itself and can be made of crystal, gold, silver or other precious metals. Stupa in Bangkok, Thailand. Slide 4 Slide 5 Slide 6 The Great Stupa, 3 rd Century BCE, Sanchi, India. BUDDHISM Slide 7 Carved decoration of the Northern gateway to the Great Stupa of Sanchi Slide 8 A torii is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entry to a Shinto shrine, although it can be found at Buddhist temples as well. It has two upright supports and two crossbars on the top, and is frequently painted vermilion. Some torii have tablets with writing mounted between the crossbars. Traditionally, torii are made of wood or stone, but makers have started to use steel and even stainless steel. Torii mark the transition from the sacred world to the normal, profane world. Slide 9 The PAGODA is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other parts of Asia. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist, and were often located in or near temples. This term may refer to other religious structures in some countries. The pagoda's original purpose was to house relics and sacred writings. A PAGODA in Japan. Slide 10 In May of 2007, hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered in Changzhou, China, to celebrate the opening of what local officials say is the world's tallest pagoda. The towering structure stands nearly 505 feet (154 meters) tall reaching 50 feet (15 meters) higher than Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. The wooden tower was recently added to the ancient Tianning Temple, a Buddhist complex dating back to China's Tang Dynasty, which lasted from A.D. 618 to 907. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt in the same spot five times.