(View exact match)stupaCATEGORY: structure; artifact
DEFINITION: A Buddhist monument consisting of a circular or hemispherical mound with a domelike casing of stone, often tiled, and intended to contain relics of the Buddha or of a Buddhist saint. Existing in China, Japan, Korea, India, Java, and Southeast Asia, stupas are often the focus of a monastery. They are surrounded by a decorative railing showing the Buddha's life and mythological figures. The Mauryan emperor Asoka is said to have built 84,000 stupas, including the most famous at Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh, c 2nd century BC). Hindus of the Jainist sect built stupas commemorating saints.
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DEFINITION: Sinhalese kingdom centered at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka and its capital from the time of the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC until the site was abandoned in the 10th century AD after many incursions by the Tamils of South India. The South Indians gained control of the kingdom several times - in the 2nd, 5th, and again in the late 10th century AD, after which Anuradhapura was finally abandoned as the Sinhalese capital in favor of Polonnaruva. There was also internal warring by clans trying to establish separate dynastic lines. The most important Anuradhapuran dynasties were the Vijayan (3rd century BC-1st century AD) and the Lamakanna (1st-4th century AD and 7th-10th century). Buddhist monuments include palaces, monasteries, and stupas, many of which have been conserved and restored. During its 1,000 years of existence, the kingdom of Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture. Among the most famous are the Thuparama stupa, the Ruvanveli dagaba (an enormous stupa), and the Lohapassada monastery. The kingdom also developed a remarkably complex system of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.Ashoka (d 238 BC?)SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asoka, Asokan
DEFINITION: The last major emperor of the Mauryan empire of India in the 3rd century BC. He started out as a bloody tyrant, but underwent a spiritual crisis and became a Buddhist, furthering the expansion of that religion throughout India. His reign was c 265-238 BC but has also been given as c 273-232 BC. His kingdom included most of modern Pakistan and India, except the extreme south. Many monuments survive from his period: stupas, rock-cut temples, and commemorative pillars. A series of inscriptions, enshrining Buddhist teaching, survives on rock faces and stone pillars in various parts of the empire.BhajaCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-cut cave monastery, famous for its temple with internal stupas set in a kind of sanctuary, from the 2nd-1st centuries BC. The temple is decorated with sculpture in bas-relief, which are some of the earliest Buddhist works.BharhutCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village, about 100 miles southwest of Allahabad, India, famous for the ruins of a Buddhist stupa built in the time of Ashoka (c 250 BC). Originally built of brick, it was enlarged during the 2nd century BC and surrounded with a stone railing with four stone gateways (toranas) placed at four cardinal points. An inscription on these gateways assigns the work to King Dhanabhuti in the rule of the Shungas (i.e., before 72 BC). The railing is decorated with scenes from the Jataka stories. The sculptures adorning the shrine are among the earliest and finest examples of the developing style of Buddhist art in India. Discovered in 1873, the stupa's sculptural remains are now mainly preserved in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, and in the Municipal Museum (Allahabad).BorobudurSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Barabudur
DEFINITION: A huge Mahayana Buddhist monument in central Java, Indonesia, northwest of Yogyakarta, constructed between about 778-850 AD under the Sailendra dynasty and Sanjaya kings. It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world. The Borobudur is in the form of a stepped pyramid, constructed of 2 million cubic feet of volcanic stone around and over a natural hill, and consists of six square and three circular superimposed terraces, crowned by a large stupa. There are 504 statues of the Buddha, 1300 reliefs, and 72 stupas on the Borobudur.Ku BuaCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Settlement of the Dvaravati period in south-central Thailand near the mouth of the Mae Klong River. Remains of Dvaravati architecture include stupa bases at Ku Bua, some of which have elephants supporting their bases, following a pattern that originated in Ceylon. A moat dates to the Khmer period, c 1000 AD.MataramSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mendang-Mataram
DEFINITION: Dynasty founded by king Sanjaya in the 8th century AD in the southern part of central Java, Indonesia. The state dominated during the 8th-10th centuries AD and was ruled by the Shailendra dynasty. Major sites are the stupa of Borobudur, a temple complex in Dieng, and numerous funerary temples (candi) as at Prambanan. It is also the name of a large kingdom that lasted from the late 16th-18th centuries in Java.Nakhon PathomCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Large protohistoric and early historic site in the lower Chao Phraya valley of central Thailand. It is thought to have been the capital of the state of Dvaravati for a while. According to local tradition, it is the oldest city in Thailand - said to be more than 2,000 years old - and was visited by the Buddha. Artifacts have been found there dating from the 6th century AD. Phra Pathom, the highest stupa in Thailand, rises to 380 feet (116 m).PaganSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arimaddanapura
DEFINITION: A city in northern Burma, close to the confluence of the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin, formed in 849 by the union of 19 villages and originally called Arimaddanapura. It is a Buddhist religious center and the rulers of the Pagan dynasty (1044-1287) erected c 5000 Buddhist monuments (temples and stupas) made of baked brick, which contributed to the deforestation of the area now known as the 'Dry Zone' of Burma. Until its conquest by the Mongols in 1287, Pagan was the capital of an expanding Burman kingdom which included the Mon country to the south and areas inhabited by Thai peoples in the East.SanchiCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of three stupas in central India. They are the Great Stupa, Stupa No. 1, an Ashokan foundation enlarged over the centuries; No. 2, with railing decorations of the late Shunga period (c 1st century BC); and No. 3, with its single toran (ceremonial gateway) of the late 1st century BC-1st century AD. Other features of interest include a commemorative pillar erected by the emperor Ashoka (c 265-238 BC); an early Gupta temple (temple No. 17), early 5th century, with a flat roof and pillared portico; and monastic buildings ranging over several centuries. Sanchi sculpture is the early Indian style embellishing the 1st-century-BC gateways of the Buddhist relic mound called the Great Stupa. The region of Sanchi, however, had a continuous artistic history from the 3rd century BC to the 11th century AD.SarnathCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site north of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh state, northern India, where, according to tradition, the Buddha first began teaching his followers. The emperor Ashoka visited the site on his pilgrimage of 249 BC and erected a stupa and the famous lion-capital memorial pillar. There is also a small temple, also of the 3rd century BC.