Architecture derived from India has been so richly decorated with sculptures, shrines, carvings. This is because the architecture is derived from the understanding of religious culture.
The Great Stupa at Sanchi (250 BC - 250 AD) is the earliest surviving heroic architectural monument of India. This Buddhist shrine was built by the Mauryan emperor. The distinctive architecture comprises a shallow brick dome raised on a circular platform, surrounded by stone railings, as is the enclosed sacred platform at the top of the Stupa. There are four richly carved gateways. It is based on traditional chaityas, or circular burial mounds for the deceased village headmen.
The Stupa represents the world and is deigned both as a place for prayers and as a representation of the path that leads to Nirvana or divine understanding. Endlessness and rebirth, the believe cycle of the Buddhist religious, is expressed in the circular architectural form. The mast, representing the axis of the world, rises from the center of the dome.
The Buddhist architecture of every region has its own unique character due to different cultural and environmental factors. The ancient Buddhist shrine is seen today in various countries, but the form and materiality have changed, constructed in a variety of sizes, proportions, colors and creative designs. The ‘high rise’ mast that reaches towards the sky still remains in the structure of stupas.
Golden Stupa in Thailand
White Horse Stupa in China