This work is the outcome of painstaking research on the evolution of stupas in Burma, Pagan Period, 11th to 13th centuries A.D. Burma known as the land of pagodas is nowhere so rich in the number of pagodas as in Pagan. The stupendous vastness of the ruins reminiscent of the glory that was of Pagan in its heyday inspired this study. The evolution traced back to the beginning of the stupa structure in India, deals with the various architectural phases (duly illustrated) it passed through ending with the final stage in the Rhwedagum Pagoda in Rangoon (Burma). Apart from the material side of the study, there is the need of looking into the aesthetic and spiritual side of the evolution. That religious architecture is a barometer of the material prosperity and social outlook of the people, besides being the handmaid of the spiritual aspirations of the devotees, is amply discernible in this study.
The value of the art survey in this work is further enhanced by the inclusion of over 138 photographs. Moreover, besides the magnificent Pagan art, it gives a comparative view of the religious architectural development in the Asian countries contemporaneous with the Pagan Period.
About the Author
Sujata Soni, is M.A. from the Arts and Science University of Mandalay, Burma, besides being F.R.A.S. of Great Britain and Ireland. She has been a Personal Secretary to her father, the world - famous Buddhist scholar, Dr. R.L. Soni. She was the Manager of the Buddhist Discussion Group Mandalay, a regional center of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB). Her writings appeared in many Buddhist journals throughout the world. She is very much interested in the evolutionary phases through which the solid pagodas passed and has conducted painstaking research on the subject.
Foreword by Series Editor
List of Abbreviations
I. Philosophical Considerations
II. Evolutionary Phases
III. Architectural Style and Decoration
IV. Restoration and Encasement of Solid Pagodas
V. A Comparative Look at Neighbouring Countries
Part I. India and Ceylon
Part II. Contemporary Development in the Himalayan
and the Trans-Himalayan regions
Part III. A Look Eastwards and Southwards
List of Illustrations
I. Location of Pagan in Mandala Division
II. Pagan and Environs showing the location of Pagodas
III. Religious Architectural Influences across the Pacific
IV. Central Position of Pagan in relation to the
Plates facing page 114 onwards
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