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The Concept of a Circle in Art and Sacred Space: The Great Stupa at Sanchi

The Concept of a Circle in Art and Sacred Space: The Great Stupa at Sanchi

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The basic geometrical designs of certain shapes have caused them to be used symbolically in different religions to signify various meanings without text. For example the cross symbolizes Christianity, the crucifixion of Christ and the incarnation of divinity and the square is often used to signify the four cardinal points of a compass as used in the great pyramids of Egypt. Another great example of this concept would be the circle. Since the circle has no start or end, it is used throughout art to represent the idea of the continuation of life, the purity of the holy, the universe and the divine. In Buddhism, circular designs are often used to represent different aspects of there religion. Example of that would be with the wheel which stands for the endless cycle of birth and rebirth or the circle of life (night and day and so on) and with the rounded dome Stupas which symbolizes earth.

When looking at The Great Stupa at Sanchi the concept of the circle and its connections with the divine and sacred can be clearly seen in the design and function.

The Great Stupa at Sanchi was built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka during the 1st century. The Great Stupa, along with all other Stupas, came from the ritual usually used for the burial mounds once used for the burial of royalty in India and was adopted by Buddhists as one of their main symbols and as the center of their religious compounds. Supposedly, Buddha upon his death requested to be buried in this manor to bridge the gap between himself and the upper class to show that he was no different then them. The remains and relics of Buddha are placed within the stupa which also acts as a symbol to commemorate a sacred.

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Comparison and Contrast of the Taj Mahal and the Stupa at Sanchi Essay

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In the following essay, I will be comparing and contrasting to architectural pieces by the Indians. The first is the Taj Mahal, a building constructed from white marble that took seventeen years to build in honor of Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal (Z. Haq). This piece of architectural beauty belonged to the Mughal’s, the Muslim emperors in India (Z. Haq). The second is the Great Stupa at Sanchi, a holy, dome shaped structure that covers the body of the Buddha in honor of him and his contributions to Buddhism (Fischer, Julia). Furthermore, this structure was made of ruins, rocks, mud, and covered in bricks (Fischer, Julia). Both pieces of architecture are significant to the Indians, however they do contrast in some ways.
The Taj Mahal, which translates to “Crown Palace” is a very significant monument and regarded as one of the best in the world. It is actually a mausoleum where both the bodies of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are found. It was built from 1631 till 1648 AD in Agra, India (History of Taj Mahal). Architects from all around the world were ordered to come to India and build this Taj Mahal by the order of the Mughal, Shah Jahan (History of Taj Mahal). He built this to honor his wife after her death while she was giving birth to their child (History of Taj Mahal). Her last words for Shah Jahan was to build a tomb in her memory that the world has never seen before, and so he did what she asked for (History of Taj Mahal). Later on, the grave of Shah Jahan was added to the Taj Mahal.
The other artwork I will be comparing to the Taj Mahal is the Great Stupa at Sanchi. The stupa is a dome shaped building that covers the body of the Buddha, who was regarded very greatly by many Buddhists. In t.

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Pillai, Maya. "Architecture of the Taj Mahal." IBuzzle. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

Pradesh, Madhya. "World Heritage Sites- Sanchi." Archeological Survey of India. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

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Sanchi Stupa: Things you would want to know about the monument

Sanchi Stupa: Things you would want to know about the monument

I happened to visit Sanchi in 2013, and experienced its several hues, which even the colourful Ogilvy & Mather advertisement echoed with its incredible “Rang hai, Malang hai, Sau tarah ke Rang hai’, jingle.

The state of Madhya Pradesh is a perfect confluence of different kinds of heritage- natural, cultural and aesthetic. What is truly epic about its cultural repository are some of the geographical aspects emanating from history, and well, geology. Take for instance, the Tropic of Cancer line that passes through Vidisha district, a common stopover for enthusiasts’ enroute to the glorious Sanchi Stupas.

The Tropic of Cancer line that passes through Vidisha district, a common stopover for enthusiasts’ enroute to the glorious Sanchi Stupas. (Source: Swasti Pachauri)

Sanchi, needs no introduction. A UNESCO World heritage site located in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, Sanchi Stupas reveal richness of Indian heritage, the country’s enormous cultural inventory, and lessons from post Mauryan craftsmen on architecture and arts.

A typical stupa comprises of a semi-spherical dome, circumambulatory pathways called Pradakshinapatha along with pillared structured gateways called Toranas, also the most evocative in a Stupa’s architectural style. These Toranas have Jataka stories which narrate previous births of Buddha, and narrative depiction of several of Buddha’s life events. For instance, the most popular and famous Queen Maya’s dream with the descending elephant. These events along with Jataka stories of Buddha, contributed to an important aspect of decor, semblance of which is seen in contemporary wall painting styles in the countryside, today. While their thematic essence might differ, the provenance of style and most importantly of creative imagination and thought, remain unanimous across different eras of art demonstration.

This particular terrain is rich with several other antique sites, the most stunning of them being of Bhimbetka rock shelters (another UNESCO heritage site in Raisen district) proximate to Vindhya ranges, housing prehistoric paintings depicting early life and primitive occupations, man-man/ man-wild relationships – emblematic of a unique symbiosis that existed in those golden days of sacred groves.

Various styles, stone carvings and narrative art depiction through stories are few features of these prodigious structures that boast of richness and authenticity of ancient murals. The most fascinating aspect about our prehistoric era is the austerity and grandeur, with which these monumental structures stand the test of time.

The relevance of these styles is evident in wall paintings and murals, seen in rural India during customary celebrations of harvest or say, nuptials. Instance, if limestone (chuna), chalcedony, haemtite (red geru), stones and bricks were used during paleolithic era to beautifully narrate the continuum of human saga and man’s relationship with nature and wild- similar creative expressions find refuge on traditional folk paintings of today, depicting how important it was, and still is to creatively narrate daily rituals of life. Together, these paintings, and rock art murals contribute to a repertoire of historical anecdotes to learn from, thus nourishing our artistic acumen.

It is not surprising therefore, that present day Warli and Pithora art derive their inspiration from ancient rituals of socio-economic activity, thus corroborating to the seminal values, prehistoric architectural style passed on to generations, leaving behind meticulous imprints of imaginative story telling exercises. In fact, these story narrations, (albeit with different content and message) resonate with the innovative ‘Communications for Development’ methodologies based on visual appeals, deployed by organizations these days, to maximize developmental outreach of their welfare programmes.

Last week, our Honourable PM invoked Buddha and his teachings, his contributions to peace and humanity. From Sri Lanka, Japan, Nepal, China, to even Mongolia now, the present dispensation’s focus on enhancing friendships through common cultural roots of Buddhist teachings, is testimony to the present day relevance of invoking Buddhism and its spiritual significance, in our daily lives.

It is indeed, one of the many ways to connect and establish amity with people, and nations through several conservational efforts ranging from preserving heritage sites, to prospering sustainable tourism initiatives. Such efforts generate knowledge capital, and encourage avenues for meaningful intellectual and spiritual exchange, while balancing the essentials of soft power, and furthering cultural diplomatic ties. India’s pivotal role in construing Nalanda International University establishes a case in point, to how an ancient seat of Buddhist learning could be harnessed towards cementing global learning capital, and cultural diplomacy.

Domestically speaking, government programmes have been undertaken to promote tourism, conservation, and preservation of important Buddhist sanctuaries. The recently lauched ‘Swadesh-Darshan’ which focuses on developing a Buddhist circuit connecting Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Vaishali in Bihar and Kapilavastu, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh- is a promising step towards preserving heritage and history, thus reviving ethos of ancient culture.

Buddhist Stupa: Architecture - Symbolism - Approach Guides

Buddhist Stupa: Architecture & Symbolism

The first and most fundamental of Buddhist architectural monuments, the Buddhist stupa serves as a marker for a sacred space, a symbolic representation of the Buddha’s burial mound. To understand the stupas and pagodas that you will see throughout Asia—including those in Angkor, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, China, Japan—it is helpful to first appreciate the design of the earliest stupas, which can be found in India and Sri Lanka. These stupas exerted great influence on later designs.

Great Stupa, Sanchi, India.

The Indian Prototype: Sanchi Stupa

The Great Stupa at Sanchi. in central India, is one of the earliest stupas; it served as an architectural prototype for all others that followed. The world-famous stupa — first constructed by the 3rd century BCE Mauryan ruler Ashoka in brick (the same material as those of Sri Lanka) — was later expanded to twice its original size in stone.

Elevation and plan. Great Stupa, Sanchi, India.

In the most basic sense, as an architectural representation of a sacred burial site, a stupa—no matter where it is located in the world or when it was built—has three fundamental features.

  • A hemispherical mound (anda). The anda’s domed shape (green highlights) recalls a mound of dirt that was used to cover the Buddha’s remains. As you might expect, it has a solid core and cannot be entered. Consistent with their symbolic associations, the earliest stupas contained actual relics of the Buddha; the relic chamber, buried deep inside the anda, is called the tabena. Over time, this hemispherical mound has taken on an even grander symbolic association: the mountain home of the gods at the center of the universe.
  • A square railing (harmika). The harmika (red highlights) is inspired by a square railing or fence that surrounded the mound of dirt, marking it as a sacred burial site.
  • A central pillar supporting a triple-umbrella form (chattra). The chattra, in turn, was derived from umbrellas that were placed over the mound to protect it from the elements (purple highlights). Just as the anda’s symbolic value expanded over time, the central pillar that holds the umbrellas has come to represent the pivot of the universe, the axis mundi along which the divine descends from heaven and becomes accessible to humanity. And the three circular umbrella-like disks represent the three Jewels, or Triantha, of Buddhism, which are the keys to a true understanding of the faith: (a) Buddha; (b) dharma (Buddhist teachings or religious law); and (c) sangha (monastic community).

Around these three core building blocks were added secondary features.

  • Enclosure wall with decorated gateways (toranas) at the cardinal directions. The wall — with its trademark three horizontal stone bars (in the top image) — surrounds the entire structure. The wall is marked in light blue highlights and the toranas in yellow.
  • A circular terrace (medhi). The terrace—surrounded by a similar three-bar railing—supports the anda and raises it off the ground (black highlights); it likely served as a platform for ritual circumambulation.
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Assignment ART 2 Paper by

Assignment ART 2

I need to write two paragraphs for first and second questions each one I need to write between five to six lines. This is a discussions you can give each one references from the internet with worksite for each one. If you have question just ask me

What are the symbolic and religious significance of the Great Stupa at Sanchi. Include architectural terms. How is the stupa incorporated into the Chaitya Hall

The perfectly-preserved stupas at Sanchi have been symbolic because of the art that roughly encompasses the entire range of Indian

Buddhism The Great Stupa is especially symbolic. with its four toranas (gateways carved with scenes from the lives of Buddha. almost perfect hemispherical dome (cosmic symbol. and topped with a triple chatra (umbrella structure ) that is seen in Buddhism as a sign of high rank (Shepherd. The stupa in Chaitya Hall also has a chatra but the stupa itself is indoors and at the rounded end of the hall 's U-shaped floor plan (Balogh

Shepherd. Roger. The Great Stupa ' RogerShepherd .com. Architectural Record. n. d. Web. Retrieved 15 May. 2010

Balogh. Daniel. Chaitya hall. wood in rock ' India with Common Sense for the Informed Ousider. 2008. Web. Retrieved 15 May. 2010 .Discuss the differences in figural representation among the following Indian styles. Mathuran. Gandharan and Gupta. Which style expresses the nature of buddhahood most clearly. do you feel. Why

The Mathuran style is characterized by full-bodied Buddhas. the lotus leaf. the wheel in the palm.

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