Stupas of Buddhism
The Buddhist stupas or the Viharas are sacred places for the Buddhist people. They visit these places and pay their honour to their believers. The Stupas are in the hemisphere shape and packed construction. In this construction, one can’t enter like into a temple. Above the hemisphere shape, install a pillar by umbrellas. These stupas were built on the buried relics of Lord Buddha or other vital monks. The dinosaurs are the teeth, bones, hair etc. A stone wall was also built around the Stupa and decorated the gateways with beautiful sculptures. During the Ashoka significant period, these were made with Brick, mud and wood. Later the Stupas were constructed with stone only.
The Buddhists believe that the Stupa represents Buddha. Some believe that the Stupa’s dome represents the Universe, the centre pillar being the axis around which everything revolves and connects the world below, the earth and the heavens. The devotees of Buddha worship the Stupa by offering the Stupa and meditation by sitting before it.
We can see many Stupas in India. In Andhra Pradesh, Amaravathi, Bhattiprolu, Ramatirtham, and Salihundam are the famous Buddhist Stupas. The archaeologists found a crystal casket containing the relics of Buddha. Amaravathi Stupa was built during the rule of Satavahanas about 1900 years ago.
Generally, the Stupa is covered with Panels of various sculptures depicting the Buddha’s life and his teachings. Some panels contain flying figures on the top, which indicates the heavenly gods came to worship Lord Buddha. At the bottom, devotees seem to bow down and worship Buddha. We can see four lions on the gateway of the Stupa. These sculptural panels represent the earliest sculptural activity in the Sub-Continent of India. Especially Amaravati stupas and Nagarjunakonda Stupa sculptures show us a glimpse of people of those times from them in South India.
Later in the years, the artists started making prominent and complete figures of Lord Buddha,’ and the making and relief panels decreased slowly. The Large statues of Lord Buddha were famous in Gandhara in the North West, Mathura and Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh. We can see such types of sculptures in Nagarjunakonda.