By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. They ensure the proper functioning of our services, analytics tools and display of relevant ads. Learn more about cookies and control them

Not yet registered? Create a OverBlog!

Create my blog

Kathmandu's Great Stupa: The facts

Bodhnath Stupa in Kathmandu is a great Tibetan monument, impressive in its simplicity. Its association with Tibet can be traced to 1959 when Tibetans fled their country following the unsuccessful uprising against the Chinese invaders. These refugees have used the stupa as a rallying point and it remains one of the few places on Earth where Tibetan culture is so accessible.

It’s believed that the first stupa was built on the site in the 600s after Songtsän Gampo, founder of the Tibetan Empire, was converted to Buddhism by his wives, Nepali princess Bhrikuti and Wencheng Konjo from China. Dome The most noticeable feature of the 36 metre high stupa is its giant hemispherical dome – known as the Kumbha – which is made of an off-white colour containing traces of green moss. You also have the equally eye-catching ‘harmika’ bedecked with the Buddha’s all-seeing, red-rimmed blue eyes. Wall A low wall, embedded with prayer wheels, surrounds three mandala-shaped plinths of decreasing size upon which the dome is elevated. Each platform is linked to the next by several flights of stairs - this whole base is said to symbolise Earth. From the top of the centre of the dome (which resembles a downward-facing bowl and symbolises water) rises a gold, pyramid-shaped object. Base The square, flat base of this object is the 'harmika'. It features a nose in the form of a question mark and a large pair of red-rimmed, blue eyes, above which is located a strip of multi-coloured material. The eyes are those of Buddha; the question mark (or, more accurately, the Nepalese character for number 1) in the place where a nose should be symbolises unity and represents the way to reach enlightenment. The small third eye represents Buddha wisdom. Spire The gold, pyramid-shaped spire which sits atop the 'harmika', is tapered in the same manner as Giza's pyramids, with blocks rising upwards. These are, in fact, the 13 golden steps which represent the 13 different mental stages which lead to Nirvana. This spire symbolises fire. Umbrella On top of the spire sits a crown-like object, with all the intricate detail you would expect to see on a monarch's head. This is known as the umbrella or parasol and symbolises air. Another strip of material conceals the underpart of the umbrella - the dominant colour of this material is a rich lemon yellow; on top of it are painted thinner strips of red, white and blue.

Same category articles Architecture

All about: Stained glass in churches

All about: Stained glass in churches

Glass making is more than 5000 years old and can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia. In a crude form, glass has been used as a decoration through history. It was brought to some perfection in the first century of the Christian era under the Romans. Stained glass for windows in churches really begins to appear in the seventh century.
How to price the cost of a house extension

How to price the cost of a house extension

If you are considering an add-on for your home, you are not alone! This is increasingly becoming a trend among British home-owners. It is far cheaper and less time-intensive than remodelling your existing space, buying a new house or even having a new house constructed from scratch! This article will show you how to estimate the cost of a new extension for your home accurately.
A history of the Eiffel Tower

A history of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel tower sits tall and high in the Centre of Paris and was erected over one hundred and twenty years ago. It took over three hundred men to put the tower together as the spire reaches three hundred and twenty metres in to the sky. This article explains the history of the world famous landmark in a timeline format of the most significant events.
What is SOA?

What is SOA?

Whilst the area of service-oriented architecture, or SOA, is currently a highly active area, there still remains some considerable confusion with regards to what SOA actually is. As you will see in the following article, different people tend to qualify SOA in quite different ways. With that in mind, have a look at the various SOA definitions.