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Buddhist Architecture

SArrah's Interiors
by

Abbas Obri

on 8 September 2012

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Transcript of Buddhist Architecture

Buddhist Architecture The Buddhist architecture has its root deeply implanted in the Indian soil- the birthplace of the Buddha's teachings. The Buddhist architecture began with the development of various symbols, representing aspects of the Buddha's life (563 BCE - 483 BCE). For the first time, it was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who not only established Buddhism as the state religion of his large Magadh empire, but also opted for the architectural monuments to spread Buddhism in different places. Distinctive Buddhist architectural structures and sculptures such as Stupas, Pagodas, monasteries and Caves, which have been mere spectators of different eras quietly speaks about the phases of the Buddhist stages. The Buddhist architecture has its root deeply implanted in the Indian soil- the birthplace of the Buddha's teachings. The Buddhist architecture began with the development of various symbols, representing aspects of the Buddha's life (563 BCE - 483 BCE). For the first time, it was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who not only established Buddhism as the state religion of his large Magadh empire, but also opted for the architectural monuments to spread Buddhism in different places. Distinctive Buddhist architectural structures and sculptures such as Stupas, Pagodas, monasteries and Caves, which have been mere spectators of different eras quietly speaks about the phases of the Buddhist stages. The following include the Buddhist Architecture: CAVES STUPAS Development of Buddhist Architecture Buddhist Architecture developed in India in the third century BC.
Buddhist school of architecture can be traced back to B.C. 255Gandhara architecture, the merger of Indian and Greek art, took the form of Buddhist cult objects, Buddha’s and ornaments for Buddhist monasteries.
Buddhist architecture depicts various symbols, representing aspects of the Buddha's life (563 BCE - 483 BCE).
In India Buddhist architecture was influenced to a large extent by Asoka.
Architectural features are: Stupas, caves, viharas, Chaitya grihas, monestary.
1. Shape of Pyramid
2. These stupas have been called from the Prakrit word THUPA
3. They were also known as "RELIC SHRINES"
4. The stupa was planned like a Vedic Village, on lines of divine order.
5. The dome was spherical also called "ANDA" or "EGG" or "WOMB".
6. at the top of the dome was a small square balcony called HARMIKA (heaven of 33 gods)
7. On the shaft there was a three tiered stone or wooden umbrella, which is a mark of dignity.
8. The brick work of the dome was finished with a thick layer of lime mortar. In some stupas, the dome was coloured and even gilded. BUDDHIST STUPA STUPAS AT SANCHI 1. There are mainly 3 stupas on the top of the Sanchi hill which rise about 100m above the plain. Of the three stupas, the biggest one is known as GREAT STUPA.
2. The Great Stupa, Sanchi is situated about 40kms from bhopal in MadhyaPradesh. The constrution of Stupa was started as early as 150 B.C.
3. The dome "ANDA" or "EGG" is a solid brick work 32.32m in diameter and 12.8m high. The dome was a slight crushed profile at top and was surmounted by Harmika with a central triple umbrella. The facing of the dome consists of dry masonry composed of hammer dressed stones laid in even courses.
4. There are four gateways known as TORANAS. Torana consists two square upright columns with capitals of lion or elephant haeds denoting strength. These columns support 3 separate horizontal panels. these panels are supported by atlantean figures, a group of dwarfs, lions and elephants.
5. The top panel is crowned with Tri-ratna, symbol of buddhist trinity, Bhuddha, the law and monastic community with the wheel of justice in the centre which rests on elephant shaped pedestal. CHAITYAS & VIHARAS Chaityas are the halls enclosing the stupas. Ashoka constructed eight rock-cut halls in the Barabar & Nagarjuni hills and the one near Rajgir dedicated to Jaina monks. The Lomas Rishi, the Sudama (both in the Barabar hills) and the Sita Marhi (Nagarjuni hills) caves are fine examples of the Chaityas which resembled the wooden buildings of the period. More sophisticated rock-cut chaityas developed later. The final form of rock-cut architecture that developed from these early forms can be seen all over India in Andhra Pradesh, Kathiawar in Gujarat and in Ajanta & Ellora. The rock formation in all these areas were most suited for these rock cut structures. Alternating layers of hard and soft rock prevents moisture from seeping inside. They began the work from the top & continued downward. The Buddhists were the main contributors to these rock-cut monuments and best monuments are those found in Ajanta & Ellora (vishwakarma cave- cave No.10). Fine sculptures adorn the walls. Figures of Buddha in various poses were cut out. Viharas are the dwelling places donated to the normally wandering Buddhist monks. The earlier structures were made of wood & soon developed from the primitive thatched huts into large sangharamas. Pali texts indicate the structure of the viharas. In course of time the sangharamas developed into educational institutions & centres of Buddhist learning, such as those at Nalanda, Vikramasila, Somapura. Hinayana viharas are seen in Ajanta, Ellora & in the Orissan hills in the east coast and at Nasik, Bedsa, Kondane and Pitalkhora in the Western Ghats. The development of Mahayana vihara can be traced only at Ajanta. AJANTA Painting *The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are 30 rock-cut cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to the 600 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art

*There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya (shrines) and the rest are monasteries. These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD.

*Most of the paintings in Ajanta are right from 2nd century BC-AD and some of them about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries. All paintings show heavy religious influence and centre on Buddha. Incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique. * At Ajanta, the paintings on the walls, illustrate the events in the life of prince Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and in the more popular Jatakas stories pertaining to Buddha's previous incarnation.
* According to the older conceptions, the Buddha wrought many deeds of kindness and mercy in a long series of transmigration as a Bodhisattva, before achieving his final birth as the sage of sakyas. Incidentally they contain the scenes of semi-mythological history, the royal court and popular life of the ancient times, as told in romances and plays. HOW PAINTINGS WERE DONE IN THE DARK CAVES It is thought that the cIt is thought that the craftsmen who painted and sculpted in the Ajanta caves, were mostly Buddhist monks Perhaps many Hindu craftsmen of the lower castes had accepted the faith of the Buddha, the Craftsmen, in those days, were grouped together according to their profession, they learnt their skill from father to son and son to son. Some of them were great masters, who invented new techniques new tools and new ways of handling paint and chisel, in every generation.As the Buddhists began to scoop caves from the 1st century A.D. downwards, they evolved practical ways of working in the dark. The marshal, or stick torch, was smeared with vegetable oil and used for lighting dark corners. Also, large mirrors were used to reflect sunshine in to the interiors. And the walls were whitewashed smeared with lime plaster, before painting.
raftsmen who painted and sculpted in the Ajanta caves, were mostly Buddhist monks Perhaps many Hindu craftsmen of the lower castes had accepted the faith of the Buddha, the Craftsmen, in those days, were grouped together according to their profession, they learnt their skill from father to son and son to son. Some of them were great masters, who invented new techniques new tools and new ways of handling paint and chisel, in every generation.As the Buddhists began to scoop caves from the 1st century A.D. downwards, they evolved practical ways of working in the dark. The marshal, or stick torch, was smeared with vegetable oil and used for lighting dark corners. Also, large mirrors were used to reflect sunshine in to the interiors. And the walls were whitewashed smeared with lime plaster, before painting. HOW PAINTS WERE MADE? Colours used for the wall paintings were made from pebbles and vegetable found on the hillside. The guide will show you the pebbles of different Colours, these were crushed and ground and mixed with glue.The main colours used were; red ochre, yellow ochre, brown ochre, lamp black, white and blue. This last pigment was imported from Northern India, central Asia . Green was made by mixing this lapis lazuli with Indian yellow ochre. Techniques of making wall Paintings: The Indian wall painting technique is different from that of the fresco of the West. A layer of clay was mixed with cow dung and powdered rice hunk. This was first applied to the chipped rock surface. When it dries, a second coat of lime plaster was a trowel. The lines were then drawn in pink, brown or black; the colours were filled in with big brushes, made from the hair of squirrels tail. ELLORA ¬The Ellora caves are located in North-West of the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra . The name Ellora itself inspires everyone as it represents one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple in the entire world. Ellora is also world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation in the world, the great Kailasa.

¬These structures consist mostly of viharas or monasteries: large, multi-storeyed buildings carved into the mountain face, including living quarters, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and other rooms. Some of these monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints. In many of these caves, sculptors have endeavoured to give the stone the look of wood

¬The caves are hewn out of the volcanic basaltic formation of Maharasthra, known as ‘Deccan Trap’, the term trap being of Scandinavian origin representing the step like formation of the volcanic deposits. The rock formation, on weathering has given rise to the appearance of terraces with flat summits.

¬At Ellora, one can also have a glimpse of the channels through which the volcanic lava once flowed. These channels, due to overheating, have a brownish red colour. Similar rock was used in the construction of the Grishneshwar Temple and also utilised for the flooring of the pathways at Bibi-ka-Maqbara.

. The Pillars Of Ashoka The Ashoka lions * The Ashoka lions at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh* The most celebrated pillar is the pillar with the lion capital at Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) by Emperor Ashoka circa 250 BC. also called as "Asoka Column" .
* 8 This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base was placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.
* The pillar at Sanchi also has a similar lion capital. Pillar at Vaishali * Front view of the single lion capital in Vaishali.
* There exists in Vaishali, a pillar with a single lion capital erected by Ashoka.The location of this pillar is contiguous to the site where a Buddhist monastery and a sacred coronation tank stood. Excavations are still underway and several stupas suggesting a far flung campus for the monastery have been discovered. Front view of the single lion capital in Vaishali Pillar at Allahabad * The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC.

* Originally, there must have been many pillars but only nineteen survive with inscriptions. Many are preserved in a fragmentary

* All the pillars were quarried at Chunar, just south of Varanasi and dragged, sometimes hundreds of miles, to where they were The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC.

* Averaging between forty and fifty feet in height, and weighing up to fifty tons each, all the pillars were quarried at Chunar, just south of Varanasi and dragged, sometimes hundreds of miles, to where they were erected.[2] erected. * In Allahabad there is a pillar with inscriptions from Ashoka and later inscriptions attributed to Samudragupta and Jehangir.
* The pillar is located inside the Allahabad Fort, built during the 16th century by Akbar at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.
* As the fort is occupied by the Indian Army it is essentially closed to the public and special permission is required to see the pillar. Kaushambi Koshala Brahmi Gupta empireSamudraguptaGupta script reign. He had already been king for forty years at that time and would rule for another five. Viharas or Monasteries Meaning • Vihara is a structure associated with religious Buddhist architecture.

• Sanskrit term for a Buddhist monastery.

• Bihar derives its name from vihara probably due to the abundance of Buddhist monasteries in that area.

• Originally meant “a secluded place in which to walk” and referred to “dwellings” or “refuges” by wandering monks in the rainy season. How it all started •Buddhist monks had no fixed abode.•During rainy season they stayed in temporary shelters.•Since feeding and providing shelter to the monks was considered an act of merit, rich lay devotees built sumptuous monasteries for them.•Trade routes were considered as ideal locations.•Donations from wealthy traders increased their economic strength Architecture •In the 2nd century BC a standard plan for a vihara was established.•It was either structural which was more common in the south India or rock cut like the chaitya grihas of the Deccan.•It consisted of a square block formed by four rows of cells along the four sides of an inner courtyard.•The inner courtyard or the hall was meant for congregational prayer.•There consisted a running verandah on three sides.•Often they consisted of several stories and along the inner courtyard there were verandahs supported by pillars. Interiors •As the monasteries grew larger their interiors too became more elaborate.•Walls were decorated with beautiful paintings , exquisite reliefs and intricate carvings. Examples There exist five great viharas known as the Mahaviharas namely Vikramshila-at Antichak, Bihar; had 107 temples and 50 other institutions providing
rooms for 108 monks. It was the premier university of the era. Nalanda Mahavihara-Past its time but still illustrious. •Somapura- at Paharpur had 177 individual cells around the central courtyard.
There were central blocks in the middle of the eastern, southern and western sides. Caves Stupas Pagodas TEMPLE AND MONASTERIES VIHARAS OR MONASTERIES Characteristic of Buddhist Architecture Presented By Poonam Swaskde
SArrah Multanpurwala
Pratiusha Krishnan
Preena Jain
Clarissa Rachel
Sanya Fernandes
Zahabiya Dhundhiyawala
Conclusion The Architecture mentioned above makes the Buddhist architecture very Attractive and Beautiful its own unique way.
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