Lecture iv buddhist architecture

download Lecture iv  buddhist architecture

of 51

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Lecture iv buddhist architecture


  • Buddhism began in India 2,500 years ago and remains the

    dominant world religion in the East.

    It is based on the teachings of an Indian prince named Siddharta

    Gautama who lived around 500 BCE.

    According to Buddhist tradition, the sheltered young prince was

    shocked by the suffering he saw outside his palace walls, so he left

    his life of luxury to seek answers.

    Eventually he succeeded, becoming the Buddha--the "Enlightened


    He spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching the dharma

    (the path to liberation from suffering) and establishing the sangha

    (a community of monks).

  • A Buddhist temple is called Vihara and is a place for education. In

    a temple, there is a shrine room with a large Buddha and statues

    of his disciples. It also has relics and manuscripts. There is also a

    lecture room, meditation room and a library.

    Buddha is known as a teacher not a god.

    Candles and incense sticks are lit and Buddhists recite verses in the


    Flowers and food are placed on the front of the Buddhist Statue.

    The flowers are to remind the person that they will not live forever.

    The food is given to the Monks since they own nothing of their own

    and Buddhists feel that giving food will help them reach Nirvana

    Facts about Buddhism

  • The following principles are said to help Buddhists to act well: 1.

    Not to hurt living things, 2. Do not take advantage of what is not

    there, 3. Use senses correctly, 4. Speak kindly, and, 5. Do not take

    or use drugs or alcohol.

    Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or

    'way of life'. It is a philosophy because philosophy 'means love of

    wisdom' and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:

    (1)to lead a moral life,

    (2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and

    (3) to develop wisdom and understanding.

  • The Buddhist architecture has its root deeply implanted in the

    Indian soil- the birthplace of the Buddha's teachings.

    Indian emperor Ashoka, not only established Buddhism as the

    state religion of his large Magadh empire, but also opted for the

    architectural monuments to spread Buddhism in different


    The major features of this style are



    Chaitaya halls


  • STUPA After many years of teaching Buddha died at the age of 80 .His body

    was cremated and ashes were divided in to eight parts the ashes

    were then deposited in several special mound shaped monuments

    called Stupas

    Umbrella were often mounted at the top of stupa as a sign of honor

    and respect

    A stupa is a mound-like structure containing buddhist relics,

    typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of


    These stupas are circular tumuli built of earth, covered with stone

    or brick, the plan, elevation, section and the total form of which were

    all derived from circle.


    Stupa become a cosmic symbol in response to a major human condition: death. With the enlightenment of the Buddha, stupa became a particularly buddhist symbol.


    A symbol to inspire aspiration and efforts in the religious life the

    pursuit of enlightenment


    Stupas are physically composed of the four elements earth, air,

    fire and water.


    Of the early stupas some were centered around sacrificial stakes

    but all evolved as burial mounds. As Buddhism developed the

    stupa became more of a general religious symbol, an object of



    A symmetrical expression of the microcosm and macrocosm.

    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 viewers line of sight upwards to the apex

    a symbol of the goal of Buddhism, nibbana.


    There are mainly three main stupas on the top of the sanchi

    hill which rise about 100m above the plain.

    Of the three stupa the biggest one is known as the great


    The 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in

    India and was originally commissioned by the emperor

    Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.

    Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure

    built over the relics of the Buddha.

  • It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure

    symbolizing high rank, which was intended to honor and

    shelter the relics.

    It has four profusely carved ornamental gateways and a

    balustrade encircling the whole structure.

  • DOME- is a solid brick-

    work 32.32m in

    diameter and 12.8m


    The dome has a slight

    crushed profile at top and

    was surmounted by

    HARMIKA with a central

    triple UMBRELLA.

    Plan and Elevation

    The facing of the dome consists of dry masonry composed of

    hammer dressed stones laid in even courses.

    The terrace 4.87m high from ground was added thus

    creating a separate and upper ambulatory passage 1.8m wide

    access to which was provided by a double staircase with high

    balustrade, on the south side.

    There are four gateways known as TORANAS at the cardinal

    points to the compass and are slightly staggered from the railing

    enclosing stupa.

    The ambulatory or pradakshina path is fenced by railing

    3.35m high all around the stupa.

  • Outside the railing there once stood the famous ashoka pillar,

    the fragments of which are noticed now to the right of southern

    torana. Axonometric drawing

  • Steps leading to upper ambulatory Lower Ambulatory 3.35 m. high

    Harmika & triple umbrella

    Upper Ambulatory 1.8m wide3.35m high

    Stone vedica

    Suchi 60 cm dia

    Urdhava patas 45cm dia 60-90 cmc/c



  • View of Torna from upper ambulatory

    Elephants and Yakshi of the Eastern Torana, Great Stupa, Sanchi, mid-1st century BC - AD 1st century

    Front View of sanchi stupa

    Front View of Torna

    Column of Torna


    Toranas, the entrance to the

    ambulatory were accepted as

    the traditional type of

    ceremonial potals and excel the

    array of architectural


    Torana consists of two square

    uprite columns with capital of

    lion or elephant heads

    denoting strength.

  • The first Torana gateway to be built is the one at the

    principal entrance on the South.

    These columns support three separate horizontal panels

    between each of which is a row of ornamental balusters.

    These panels are supported by atlantean figures, a group of

    dwarfs, lions and elephant.

    The total height of this erection is somewhat 10.36m with a

    width of 3m.

    No images of the Buddha was depicted; use only symbols such

    as footprint, lotus flower, an empty throne.

  • The entire panel of the gateways is covered with

    sculptured scenes from the life of Buddha, the Jataka

    Tales, events of the Buddhist times and rows of floral or

    lotus motifs.

    The scenes from Buddha's life show Buddha represented

    by symbols - the lotus, wheel a rider less caparisoned

    horse, an umbrella held above a throne, foot prints and the

    triratnas which are symbolic of Buddha, Dharma and


    The top panel has a Dharma chakra with two Yakshas on

    either side.

  • Yakshinis

    Female figures (Yakshinis;

    male is called yakshas) on

    the brackets symbolizes

    tree goddesses; pre-

    Buddhist spirits associate

    with the generative or

    productive forces of

    nature, water, and strength

    of the inner breath.

    Yakshi bracket figure from the east gate


    The vedica or railing consists of upright octagonal plan

    45cm in diameter spaced at 60 to 90cm from each other and

    connected by three lens shaped horizontals called suchi or

    needles 60cm deep being threaded through the holes of the


    The top horizontal bar is provided with coping to drain out

    rain water.

  • Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath

    The Dhamekh Stupa and the

    Dharmarajika stupa at

    Sarnath are believed to have

    been built by Ashoka and

    later rebuilt in the Gupta


  • Built in 7th century

    A commemorative Stupa

    Situated 6.5KM to the north of Benares.

    The Stupa consist of large tower built in stone masonry at

    the basement for a height of 13M and in brick masonry above

    for a height 34M.

    The facing of stone basement has 8 niches,

    A line of sculptured ornaments run below it.

    These niches were mostly provided to erect Buddhas statue.

    Delicately carved with beautiful floral and geo-metrical

    patterns is believed to have been put up in the Gupta period.

  • These stupas contain the relics of Buddha and are therefore

    important places of Buddhist pilgrimage.

    Buddha gave his First Sermon in Sarnath and also founded th