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Bodh Gaya

This little baby might just be one of the most significant buildings in south asia. I mean, its significance in religious terms is beyond question: it marks the spot where Buddha achieved enlightenment, and as such came to be seen as the physical epicentre of the universe by the more mystically-minded tendencies within the faith. Its form — a sikhara spire surrounded by four others, evoking mount Sumeru — influenced that of countless stupa and stupa-like structures in south and east asia; but what really matters here architecturally is its dating. Which is uncertain, and clouded by energetic conservation by C19 Europeans. But I believe it’s unlikely to be later than C6/C7, and either date make it very early in the development of the sikhara, more normatively the signature building form of Hindu places of worship, and it might be yet earlier. Its colossal height must have outstripped any built in the ensuing centuries. I’ve even read there’s a tunnel vault in there which supports a pointed arch…

With thanks to the Indian Art and Architecture Facebook page, who circulated this pic today….

India Art & Architecture 
Posted by : Hamza Khambati 

Bodh gaya
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Categories: Uncategorized
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