Architecture


This famous 15th century stupa from Tibet was chosen by Lama Thubten Zopa as the design for The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Australia. It is about 50 metres square at its base and rises to almost 50 metres high. The Great Stupa of Gyantse in its beauty, its ecumenical acceptance of all Buddhist schools and its unique presentation of Buddhism is one of the treasures of the Buddhist world. Professor David L. Snellgrove has said:

"The Stupa of Gyantse may well be accounted the chief wonder of the Tibetan Buddhist world in that it records iconographically in its interior practically the whole pantheon of Indo-Tibetan religion up to the time of its construction during the first half of the 15th century."

Architectural services
Architectural services have been provided by original architect Peter Weiss and current architect Paul Von Chrismar of Buro Architects (Melbourne)

Similarities between the Stupas of Gyantse and Borobodur (Indonesia)

Lama Anagarika Govinda (in "Psycho-cosmic symbolism of the Buddhist Stupa") has drawn strong parallels between these two famous stupas - Borobodur in Indonesia and Gyantse Stupa (Kumbum) in Tibet.

"...the actual groundplan of Borobodur fits exactly on the spiral groundplan of the orthodox stupa as explained by the scholastic symbolism."

The same is true of the Kumbum - the famous terraced Chorten of Gyantse in Central Tibet, known as the Golden Temple of the Hundred Thousand Buddhas. It was built on the same general plan as that which was originally intended for Borobodur.

The latter had to change in the course of construction, because the ground was apparently not strong enough to bear the weight of the massive cupola, and this was further aggravated by the ever-present danger of earthquakes. Thus, in order to prevent the building from sinking, the big cupola...had to be replaced by a circular terrace, corresponding to the base of the cupola...The nine stories of the Kumbum correspond exactly to the nine levels of the Borobodur.

Though the Kumbum was built about 500 years later than Borobodur, when the latter was already buried under a deep layer of earth and forgotten even by the inhabitants of Java, the outlines of the Kumbum appear as an almost exact replica of the four lower terraces of Borobodur."


Gyantse Layout (Tibet)

Borobodur Layout (Indonesia)

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