Shakyamuni's burial Stupa

Ancient stupa

Mahabodhi Stupa
(Bodhgaya Temple)

Phra Pathom Chedi Stupa

Phra Pathom Chedi Stupa

 

Sacred Buddhist Stupas

Ancient Stupas
Inspired by the Buddha

The practice of building stupas for the benefit of beings has been a long and expansive process that has resulted in stupas sprouting up all over the world to benefit sentient beings from all different cultures.

Some of the earliest stupas are places of pilgrimage for those seeking answers, healing, and inspiration. Here are a few of those earlier stupas and a brief story of how they came to be in existence.

 

Sanchi Stupa

This Great stupa is located 30 miles northeast of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India. It’s one of India’s oldest surviving Buddhist monuments and gets almost 80,000 visitors a year even though it’s remote.

This poor stupa  suffered a lot of damage by treasure-hunters, who almost

 

Sanchi Stupa

destroyed it over the years, but had a major renovation around 1912 headed by Sir John Marshall, an Englishman part of the Archeological Survey of India.  The stupa is graced by beautiful carvings that illustrate the Lotus or Elephant, which represents the Buddha’s birth, a tree, which  signifies his enlightenment, and wheels, signifying the wheel of dharma or the first teaching given by Buddha Shakyamuni.
 

Swayambhunath Stupa

The great Swayambhunath Stupa is west of Kathmandu on a hill that is a perfect setting for this ancient stupa. Many temples were destroyed between 1355 and 1934; this is one of the most important structures that survived.

The powerful Stupa has been an important refuge for Buddhist and other pilgrims from all over the world. Some consider it the most powerful shrine in the Himalayas even today.

The name means "self-created self- existent Buddha, and the myth of its creation is one with the story of the Valley of Kathmandu. It tells the story of the primordial Buddha's enlightenment and the spread of Buddhism in Nepal.

  Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu Valley
 

Boudhanath Stupa

The Boudhanath Stupa is a 36 meter high stupa located in Nepal, and is considered the largest stupa in South Asia. It was renovated by LIcchavi rulers in the eighth century, and the mandala design is a copyof the one in Gyangtse, Tibet.

Located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, tibetan merchangs often rested in it's shadows, and offered prayers here for centuries. When refugees began to flee Tibet, many came here to Nepal and decided to stay, creating what is now known as "Little Tibet".

It's said that the remains of a Kasyap sage revered by both Buddhists and Hindus resides inside the stupa. Smaller stupas surround it, along with monasteries, curio shops and restaurants. It's become a destination place for thousands of world travelers each year.

  Buddhanath Stupa
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