Myanmar Stupas (the Religious Monuments)
are two kinds of building, stupa and temple which formed the
largest number of religious monuments in Myanmar. Stupa is a
typical example of the Myanmar version of an Indian
original. The style of the stupa in India and Sri Lanka was
essentially built in the form of a dome, suggestive of a
sacred burial mound.
stupas are massive buildings with no interior space. Their
layout is generally circular, in exceptional cases polygonal
with curved profile: the general form is that of an immense
bell, a combination of cylindrical and conical volumes.
The term ‘Zedi’ which is derived from Pali ‘Cetiya’ is
applied to such structures. They were erected either to
enshrine some relic of Buddha or a Buddhist saint or else to
commemorate some sacred spot. Each has, therefore, a seal-up
chamber often in the basement and sometimes in the
dhatugabbha which lies between the bell-shaped section and
of solid stupas are still extant at Srikshetra and Thaton.
The Shwezigon of Bagan is virtually the prototype of later
In a typical Myanmar stupas the proportion of the bell is
attenuated to the Myanmar sense of proportion and beauty.
The result is the harmony of form.
The Myanmar stupa achieved a perfect balance between convex
shape of an Indian stupa and concave shape of Chinese
are two general types of stupas in Myanmar. The type of
lower Myanmar has a flat base terrace and bell-shaped top
which varies in size and structure. The type of Upper
Myanmar usually has three high square terraces at the base,
with four stairways, leading to a heavy bell-shaped top and
comparatively short crowing part, which is pyramidal in