The Info List - Pagoda

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A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, built in traditions originating as stupa in historic South Asia[1][2] and further developed in East Asia
East Asia
or with respect to those traditions, common to Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist
houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist, and were often located in or near viharas. In some countries, the term may refer to other religious structures. In Vietnam
and Cambodia, due to French translation, the English term pagoda is a more generic term referring to a place of worship, although pagoda is not an accurate word to describe a Buddhist vihara. The modern pagoda is an evolution of the stupa which originated in ancient India.[3][4][1] Stupas are a tomb-like structure where sacred relics could be kept safe and venerated.[5] The architectural structure of the stupa has spread across Asia, taking on many diverse forms as details specific to different regions are incorporated into the overall design.


1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Symbolism 2.2 Architecture

3 Some notable pagodas 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Etymology[edit] One proposed etymology is from a South Chinese pronunciation of the term for an eight-cornered tower, Chinese: 八角塔, and reinforced by the name of a famous pagoda encountered by many early European visitors to China, the "Pázhōu tǎ" (Chinese: 琶洲塔), standing just south of Guangzhou
at Whampoa Anchorage.[6] Another proposed etymology is Persian butkada, from but, "idol" and kada, "temple, dwelling."[7] Another etymology, found in many English language dictionaries, is modern English pagoda from Portuguese (via Dravidian), from Sanskrit bhagavati, feminine of bhagavat, "blessed", from bhag, "good fortune". Yet another etymology of pagoda is from the Sinhala word dāgaba which is derived from Sanskrit
dhātugarbha or Pali
dhātugabbha: "relic womb/chamber" or "reliquary shrine", i.e. a stupa, by way of Portuguese.[8] History[edit]

Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si
pagoda tiers labelled with their architectural styles

The origin of the pagoda can be traced to the stupa (3rd century BCE).[9] The stupa, a dome shaped monument, was used as a commemorative monument associated with storing sacred relics.[9] In East Asia, the architecture of Chinese towers and Chinese pavilions blended into pagoda architecture, eventually also spreading to Southeast Asia. The pagoda's original purpose was to house relics and sacred writings.[10] This purpose was popularized due to the efforts of Buddhist missionaries, pilgrims, rulers, and ordinary devotees to seek out, distribute, and extol Buddhist relics.[11] On the other side, the stupa emerged as a distinctive style of Newa architecture of Nepal
and was adopted in Southeast and East Asia. Nepali architect Araniko
visited China
and shared his skills to build stupa buildings in China.[12][13] These buildings (pagoda, stupa) became prominent as Buddhist monuments used for enshrining sacred relics.[9] Symbolism[edit] Chinese iconography is noticeable in Chinese pagoda
Chinese pagoda
as well as other East Asian pagoda architectures. The image of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
in the abhaya mudrā is also noticeable in some Pagodas. Buddhist iconography can be observed throughout the pagoda symbolism.[14] In an article on Buddhist elements in Han dynasty
Han dynasty
art, Wu Hung suggests that in these tombs, Buddhist symbolism
Buddhist symbolism
was so well-incorporated into native Chinese traditions that a unique system of symbolism had been developed.[15] Architecture[edit] Pagodas attract lightning strikes because of their height. Many pagodas have a decorated finial at the top of the structure, and when made of metal, this finial, sometimes referred to as a "demon-arrester", can function as a lightning rod.[dubious – discuss] Also Pagodas come in many different sizes, as some may be small and others may be large.[16] Pagodas traditionally have an odd number of levels, a notable exception being the eighteenth century pagoda designed by Sir William Chambers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. The pagodas in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos
and Cambodia
are very different from Chinese and Japanese pagodas. Pagodas in those countries are derived from Dravidian architecture.[17] Some notable pagodas[edit] Tiered towers with multiple eaves:

Songyue Pagoda
Songyue Pagoda
on Mount Song, Henan, China, built in 523. Mireuksa
at Iksan, Korea, built in the early 7th century. Bunhwangsa
at Gyeongju, Korea, built in 634. Xumi Pagoda
Xumi Pagoda
at Zhengding, Hebei, China, built in 636. Daqin Pagoda
Daqin Pagoda
in China, built in 640. Hwangnyongsa
Wooden nine-story pagoda on Hwangnyongsa, Gyeongju, Korea, built in 645. Pagoda
at Hōryū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara, Japan, built in the 7th century. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, built in Xi'an, China
in 704 Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in Xi'an, China
in 709. Seokgatap
on Bulguksa, Gyeongju, Korea, built in 751. Dabotap
on Bulguksa, Gyeongju, Korea, built in 751. Tiger Hill Pagoda, built in 961 outside of Suzhou, China Lingxiao Pagoda
Lingxiao Pagoda
at Zhengding, Hebei, China, built in 1045. Iron Pagoda
Iron Pagoda
of Kaifeng, built in 1049, during the Song dynasty. Liaodi Pagoda
Liaodi Pagoda
of Dingzhou, built in 1055 during the Song dynasty Pagoda
of Fogong Temple, built in 1056 in Ying County, Shanxi, China. Pizhi Pagoda
Pizhi Pagoda
of Lingyan Temple, Shandong, China, 11th century. Beisi Pagoda
Beisi Pagoda
at Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, built in 1162. Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda
of Hangzhou, built in 1165, during the Song dynasty. Ichijō-ji, Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan, built in 1171. The Porcelain Tower
of Nanjing, built between 1402 and 1424, a wonder of the medieval world in Nanjing, China. Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda
Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda
in Ping Shan, Hong Kong, built in 1486. Dragon and Tiger Pagodas
Dragon and Tiger Pagodas
in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, built in 1976. Seven-storey Pagoda
in Chinese Garden at Jurong East, Singapore, built in 1975. Pazhou Pagoda
Pazhou Pagoda
on Whampoa (Huangpu) Island, Guangzhou
(Canton), China, built in 1600. Pagoda
of the Celestial Lady, in Huế, Vietnam, built in 1601. Palsangjeon, a five-story pagoda at Beopjusa, Korea
built in 1605. Tō-ji, the tallest wooden structure in Kyoto, Japan, built in 1644. Nyatapola
at Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley
built during 1701–1702. The Great Pagoda
at Kew Gardens, London, UK, built in 1762. Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam, founded in the sixth century. Reading Pagoda
of Reading, Pennsylvania, built in 1908. Kek Lok Si's main pagoda in Penang, Malaysia, exhibits a combination of Chinese, Burmese and Thai Buddhist architecture, built in 1930. The pagoda of Japan
Pavilion at Epcot, Florida, built in 1982. Pagoda
of Tianning Temple, the tallest pagoda in the world since its completion in April 2007, stands at 153.7 m in height. Nepal
Peace Pagoda
in Brisbane, Australia
built for the World Expo '88.

Stupas called "pagodas":

Global Vipassana Pagoda, the largest unsupported domed stone structure in the world. Mingun Pahtodawgyi, a monumental uncompleted stupa began by King Bodawpaya
in 1790. If completed, it would be the largest in the world at 150 meters. Pha That Luang, the holiest wat, pagoda, and stupa in Laos, in Vientiane Phra Pathommachedi
Phra Pathommachedi
the highest pagoda or stupa in the world Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Shwedagon Pagoda, a 98-metre (322 ft) gilded pagoda and stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas
enshrined within. Shwezigon Pagoda
Shwezigon Pagoda
in Nyaung-U, Myanmar. Completed during the reign of King Kyanzittha
in 1102, it is a prototype of Burmese stupas. Uppatasanti Pagoda, a 325-foot tall landmark in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, built from 2006 to 2009, which houses a Buddha tooth relic.

Places called "pagoda" but which are not tiered structures with multiple eaves:

One Pillar Pagoda: Hanoi, Vietnam, is an icon of Vietnamese culture; it was built in 1049, destroyed, and rebuilt in 1954.

Structures that evoke pagoda architecture:

The Dragon House
Dragon House
of Sanssouci Park, which is an eighteenth-century German attempt at imitating Chinese architecture. The Panasonic Pagoda, or Pagoda
Tower, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This 13-story pagoda, used as the control tower for races such as the Indy 500, has been transformed several times since it was first built in 1913.[18] Jin Mao Tower
in Shanghai, built between 1994 and 1999. Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers
in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 Taipei 101
Taipei 101
in Taiwan, record setter for height (508m) in 2004 and currently the world's fourth tallest completed building.

Structures not generally thought of as pagodas, but which have some pagoda-like characteristics:

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven Wongudan
Altar in Korea

The Iron Pagoda
Iron Pagoda
of Kaifeng, China, built in 1049

Five-story pagoda of Mount Haguro, Japan

Wooden three-story pagoda of Ichijō-ji
in Japan, built in 1171

Yingde pagoda, Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, China, from Johan Nieuhof (1618–1672); Jean-Baptiste Le Carpentier (1606 – c. 1670): L'ambassade de la Compagnie Orientale des Provinces Unies vers l'Empereur de la Chine, 1665

One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi, Vietnam.

The nine-story Xumi Pagoda, Hebei, China, built in 636

Temple located in Bhaktapur, Nepal, built in 1701–1702

Taipei 101
Taipei 101
in Taipei, Taiwan

The Bombardier Pagoda
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda
located in Yangon, Myanmar. The whole structure is coated with 60 tons of pure gold

See also[edit]

Architecture of the Song Dynasty Cetiya Chaitya Chinese architecture Ta - Chinese pagodas Gongbei – Chinese Muslim mausoleum with pagoda-style architecture Stupa
– Japanese pagodas Vihara


^ a b "The Origin of Pagodas". China.org.cn. 2002-09-19. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ "Pagoda". Webpages.uidaho.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ "DEVELOPMENT OF STUPA ARCHITECTURE IN INDIA" (PDF). Shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ "The stupa (article)". Khan Academy. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press ^ Chinese Origin of the Term Pagoda: Liang Sicheng's Proposed Etymology Authors: David Robbins Tien, Gerald Leonard Cohen Publication: Arts, Languages and Philosophy Faculty Research & Creative Works DownloadTien, D. R., & Cohen, G. L. (2017) http://scholarsmine.mst.edu/artlan_phil_facwork. David Robbins Tien. Comments on Etymology, October 2014, Vol.44, no. 1, pp. 2–6. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition. Random House, New York, 1993. ^ Hobson-Jobson: The Anglo-Indian Dictionary by Henry Yule & Arthur Coke Burnell, first printed 1896, reprinted by Wordsworth Editions, 1996, p. 291. Online Etymology Dictionary by Douglas Harper, s.v. pagoda, at http://www.etymonline.com/ (Accessed 29 April 2016) ^ a b c Editors, The (2012-01-26). "pagoda architecture". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ A World History of Architecture. Michael W. Fazio, Marian Moffett, Lawrence Wodehouse. Published 2003. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-141751-6. ^ The Impact of Buddhism
on Chinese Material Culture. John Kieschnick. Published 2003. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09676-7. ^ "Nepal, China
commemorate 57-year-long friendship - China
News". SINA English. Retrieved 2017-01-23.  ^ The Evolution of Indian Stupa
Architecture in East Asia. Eric Stratton. New Delhi, Vedams, 2002, viii, ISBN 81-7936-006-7 ^ The Impact of Buddhism
on Chinese Material Culture. John Kieschnick. Published 2003. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09676-7. page 83 ^ The Impact of Buddhism
on Chinese Material Culture. John Kieschnick. Published 2003. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09676-7. page 84 ^ Terry, T. Philip (1914). Terry's Japanese Empire. Houghton Mifflin. p. 257.  ^ Chihara, Daigorō (1996). Hindu-Buddhist Architecture in Southeast Asia. BRILL. p. 28. ISBN 90-04-10512-3.  ^ [1]


The Impact of Buddhism
on Chinese Material Culture. John Kieschnick. Published 2003. Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press
. ISBN 0-691-09676-7. A World History of Architecture. Michael W. Fazio, Marian Moffett, Lawrence Wodehouse. Published 2003. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-141751-6. Psycho-cosmic symbolism of the Buddhist stupa. A. B. Govinda. 1976, Emeryville, California. Dharma

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pagodas.

Oriental architecture.com Culzean Pagoda
(Monkey House) - the only stone built pagoda in Britain Why so few Japanese pagodas have ever fallen down (The Economist)

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