A Hemispherical Mound (Anda):
The domed shape recalls a mound of dirt that was used to cover the Buddha’s remains. As you might expect, that it has a solid core &cannot be entered! Consistent with their symbolic associations, the earliest stupas contained actual relics of the Buddha; the relic chamber, buried deep inside the dome or ‘anda’, is called the tabena. Over time, this hemispherical mound has taken on an even grander symbolic association: the mountain home of the gods at the center of the universe.
Square Railing (Harmika):
The square fence or railing called harmika has surrounded the mound of dirt, marking it as a sacred burial site.
Central Pillar Supporting a Triple Level Umbrella Form (chattra):
The chattra, was derived from umbrellas that were placed over the mound to protect it from the elements. Just as the anda’s symbolic value expanded over time, the central pillar that holds the umbrellas has come to represent the pivot of the universe, the axis along which the divine descends from heaven and becomes accessible to humanity. The three circular umbrellas like disks represent the three Jewels (Triantha), of Buddhism, which are the keys to a real understanding of faith:
- Dharma (Buddhist teachings); &
- Sangha (monastic community)
Enclosure Wall with Decorated Gateways (Toranas) at the Cardinal Directions:
The gateways (toranas) are provided at 4 cardinal directions. Two pillars carrying three transverse beams constitute the structure gateways (toranas). They are made of stones but remind us of wooden construction.
Circular Terrace (medhi):
The terrace surrounded by a similar three-bar railing that supports anda & raises it off the ground; it likely served as a platform for ritual circumambulation (is the act of moving around a sacred object or idol).
Qutub Minar, Delhi:
To celebrate the advent of Muslim dominance in Delhi and the celebration of the victory of Aibak over Rajput rulers, Qutab Minar has been constructed. It was the marker of a shadow of God over east and west. It is known for the minaret. It is one of the important historical attractions in Delhi, therefore every tourist must visit this place, since it represents an excellent example of Indo-Islamic architecture. This structure was started in 1199 and took around twenty years to complete and then established itself among the greatest & famous historical monuments in 1219!