Stupa definition might be given as the following – it is a Buddhist architectural structure of hemispherical shape. It is intended for meditations and contains Buddhist relics and religious objects.


A stupa is one of the main symbols of Buddhism. The sacred stupas are located in such countries as India, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and many others. Buddhists temples are sometimes built on these monuments. Nowadays, people use them for religious rituals and meditations. Buddhists often come to stupas located in the places where they live and walk around them to meditate.

Stupas in India have become pilgrimage locations for Buddhists from all over the world. People believe the Buddha himself built some of the ancient stupas on its territory with his followers. There is a myth that claims that when Buddha died, they divided his remains and put them into eight different stupas in places where he had lived before.

Stupas are erected for Buddhists to hold their rites and ceremonies. Only Buddhist teachers who know how to choose a proper place can build them.

Stupas can look different depending on the place where they stay, but their structure is the same. The base of it represents the place where Buddha reached enlightenment. The square part symbolizes his legs while he was sitting. The middle of the monument is the Buddha’s body, and the top is his head.

Initially, people used stupas for keeping cremated remains of deceased Buddhists and their belongings. Nowadays, they represent monuments in honor of Buddhist monks.

According to Buddhist beliefs, a stupa has a special kind of energy, which can purify karma and protect from negative influence. Buddhists know them under different names such as ‘Pagoda’ in China or ‘To’ in Japan.