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Buddhist Temples & Buddha Shrine

Buddhist Temples & Buddha Shrine
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Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation and pagodas always give a real exotic and mysterious touch it won’t matter where you are, they dominate the rural landscape in Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar or Burma, Tibet, India etc.

In Asia, Buddhist temples are almost everywhere, in towns, on the banks of a river and sometimes right in rivers and on islands in the seas.

This oriental structures always shows the deep dedication to Buddhism. In recent years people create garden temple and pagodas for decorative purposes.

Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation Perched atop hills and mountains, gleaming golden or glinting white in the sunlight and symbolizing the firm faith in Theravada Buddhism.

The buildings are almost always of golden, yellow or white colour, they are constantly renovated to get away with the damages of the monsoon floods and to gain merit.

A Buddhist temple has a similar appearance in every country, there are different shapes in different countries such as China, Japan, Tibet, Thailand, Myanmar or elsewhere, but a temple or pagoda is always immediately recognized. There is also a difference in how the Buddha is depicted plus the environ of the temple and decorations such as snakes and colours.

 

thailand-Buddhist Art Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation

The face of the Buddha sculpture is also different depending on the country. The temples have their origins in the caves of the very early days in India, means the temple has a hollow structure to allow entry.

Over time the structures grew more sophisticated expanding into rooms and passageways. Most sacral buildings in south-east Asia are pagodas which are solid structures without the possibility to enter.

A Pagoda layout is usually square, five-sided or octagonal. Enshrined in a pagoda are relics or an image or figure of the Buddha, scriptures and sometimes donated precious items. A pagoda structure is always terraced and

has a bell-shaped top. The terraces of a pagoda symbolize the slopes of the holy mountain Mt. Meru, the abode of Hindu gods. The pagoda or stupa is a symbol of the Buddha and functions as a structure encasing relicts.

Another version is the zedi. This is a rudiment of the original four-square temples. The zedi consists of a pyramidal or polygonal base with niches for images of the Buddha.

The first Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation of communal devotion date from the second and first centuries BC when monks in western India began to create cave pagodas for this purpose. This type of architecture was so useful and simple that this was the best choice.

In some cases, as at Dunhuang in China’s Gansu province, a wooden facade was placed in front of the entrance to the caves or the rock was carved in imitation of wooden construction.

In the religious architecture, there were thus two types of building, the meditation hall, which was a development of the monk’s cell, and the stupa or reliquary monument.

At first, these two types were distinct, but when the temples at Karli and Bhaja in western India were built some three or four centuries after the death of the Buddha, they merged into a single construction.

Two types of temple and pagoda architecture, cave pagodas are hewn out of the rock and precincts containing temples, a monastery and a stupa, developed in the oases on the Silk Road in China which became focal points of Buddha oriented culture after the eclipse of Buddhism in India.

Rock-cut Buddha shrines such as those at Yunkang in China’s Shanxi province and Powintaung in Myanmar are often called “Caves of a thousand Buddha’s” (a term which distinguishes them from temples in the strict sense) owing to their rows of stone Buddha’s carved from the cliff face or just Buddha statues placed into the cave pagoda.

The first Buddhist temples were the burial mound housing the relics of the spiritual master, Gautama Buddha, the “Enlightened One”, who lived in the fifth century BC in northern India.

As a cosmic symbol, this stupa was a hemispherical construction surmounted by a mast and surrounded by a circular balustrade with a gateway at each of the four cardinal points.

Crowning the central temple axis were a number of discs corresponding to the celestial domains of other worlds. Later stupas and pagodas were conical or shaped like a four-sided pyramid.

Later still tower-like stupas and temples were built also in China. The first communities had neither meditation halls nor fixed abode.

The monks lived as wandering preachers of the Buddha teaching who renounced possessions and begged for their food like the Buddha and the traditional holy men of India.

Dhammayangyi Temple in the Center

Shwezigon Pagoda is a gigantic and majestic structure at Bagan within a typical Myanmar or Burma Pagoda precinct. This massive structure with several small towers indicates a Buddhist fortress.

Visible already from far away, the really spectacular view is from the Irrawaddy river in the evening when the golden Shwezigon Pagoda is immersed in a golden aura.

The sound of the gong comes from somewhere and someone bangs the bell after the prayer. Myanmar or Burma has several Buddhist temples and pagoda of this gigantic size at different locations in the country. Notably Bagan, Yangon or Rangoon, Bago Mandalay, Mrauk U and other places.

The most typical is the pagoda, Buddhist temple

Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditationbuddha
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A tiered structure with a bell-like top. Pagoda pictures are most typically shown of remote mountain sites which seem particularly appropriate to the silent inner quest, the meditation and renunciation which are characteristic. Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation

Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation Shwedagon Pagoda complex

In some inner cities such as the Shwedagon Pagoda complex, upper picture right at Yangon, the Mahamuni at Mandalay, the Shwezigon Pagoda at Bagan, upper picture right, plus hundreds of others all over Asia.

The beautiful temples and pagodas are real landmarks popping into the scenery in most part of Myanmar or Burma, Thailand and Cambodia. At Nepal, Japan, China they look a little bit different.

Buddhist temples are usually shared by monks who live there permanently and members of the lay community. It is also common that people join a monastery for a limited period.

Many monasteries function as schools and also as orphanages, in particular in Myanmar or Burma where they have a broad social function.

This is different from Christianity where there always is a distinction between cathedrals and churches which are built in the centre of a community and monasteries which are built elsewhere. A temple-monastery complex is the product of a long period of development and usually nurtured by donations.

In early Buddhism, the religious ideal was exclusively by communities of monks. It was in India, the cradle of Buddhism, that monks and public first began to share monastic precincts. Buddha temple and monastery were also raised in the Tang dynasty in China during the seventh and eighth centuries AD. Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation

In central and south-east Asia some Buddha temples are just a quadrangular pillar, each face of which may be adorned with a statue of the Buddha, who is often flanked by attendants.

Pagodas of this kind express the ancient link, which originated in India, between the symbolic monument and the sacred image. At the same time, the cave walls were gradually covered with art paintings and murals illustrating scenes from the lives of the Buddha.

Some of the most exotic Buddha temples and pagodas have been built in Myanmar or Burma. There are two particular marvellous pagodas, among plenty of other, one at Yangon, that’s the Shwedagon Pagoda and another at Bagan,

that’s the Shwezigon Pagoda, the interesting aura around is not only the sacral monument but also the whole pagoda precinct with dozens of smaller pagodas and temples having different legends and purposes.

A pagoda has a magical touch nobody can escape, it’s just great, I would say it’s one the destinations everyone must-see during his life, otherwise, he or she missed something! A Burma

Temple Layout

Temple Cross Section

Pagoda or Stupa Layout

Pagoda or Stupa Cross Section

Because of the new policy from the major search engine that when text goes together with pictures they penalize the page we have separated both, for the

Buddhist Temple Pictures

Picture Monastery Buddha

check here.

Buddha temple is always an impressive structure. It is really necessary to point out that its not the fault of the Myanmar peoples and their sacred world that they have a military regime.

Unfortunately, as usual, the politicians in the so-called “west” impose all kind of silly sanctions which were very contra-productive and hurt the Myanmar people since many people took this sanctions seriously and have been boycotting the country, what they don’t know is what they missed because there is more culture than in the whole UK & US.

A typical Thai Buddha temple

is Wat Chalong in Phuket Thailand or Chai Tararam temple, is the most famous temple at Phuket Island.

The Chalong temple shows a rather modern styling with a lot of beautiful decoration elements but the basic structure and overall architecture are very similar to Wat Benchamabopit (19 century) in Bangkok, it also shows some structure elements from originally Khmer architecture. Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation

Some other impressive buildings within the temple compound are a showcase of Thai workmanship. Thailand has also some other Buddhist temples in Lanna style, mainly at Chiang Mai and other places in northern Thailand.

This is very decorative wooden structures who are a real optical pleasure, something different by any means but shines in real Buddhist art tradition of Thailand’s northern region.

This is masterpieces of Thai workmanship including Buddhist symbols and in particular, Thai white elephants which are a very positive symbol in Thailand and Myanmar or Burma the pictures of Buddhist temples are telling more.

Buddhist temple|Buddhist Meditation Cambodia Khmer temples

Buddhist Art tBuddhist Art Buddhism Buddha Images Buddhist Meditation Buddhist Monastery Buddhist Monks Buddhist Pagoda Buddha Picture Buddha Statues Buddhist Temple Tripitaka

are very similar to Thai temples, they have the same origin, Khmer architecture. The pictures at the right and left side are at Phnom Chisor about 2 hours drive south of Phnom Penh.

A couple of km to the north is the ancient Khmer temple site of Tonle Bati. Phnom Chisor and Tonle Bati are an excellent day trip destination out of Phnom Penh, they are from the same time as Angkor Wat.

Many Buddha temples are only a few decades old but also impressive buildings. The area south of Phnom Penh is dominated by huge paddy fields and monasteries.

In Myanmar and Indonesia, these monuments are somehow different in architecture such as Borobudur in Indonesia, a ninth-century Mahayana temple.

 

There are monuments at Mrauk U in north-west Myanmar which is very similar in architecture as the one in Borobudur. Another magnificent huge shrine cum monastery is the Thambuddhe temple at Monywa in central Myanmar or Burma.

Besides the above-mentioned structures at Myanmar, there is Mahamuni in.

Sterling Hayden

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