Friday, September 14, 2007

Pagodas of Arunachal Pradesh.

Tucked away in the north-western corner of India, Arunachal Pradesh has borders with Bhutan, Tibet and Myanmar. The name means ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. It has great scenic beauty with snow clad mountains, streams and rivers, forests of different types, terraced cultivation, herds of yak and mountain sheep.

About 40% of the 1.1 million population (2001 census) are Buddhists. The ‘Tibetan’ Buddhists belong to the Mahayana sect which follows lamaistic traditions. Those living in the eastern part of the state, believed to have originally migrated from Myanmar and Thailand belong to the Hinayana sect.

The pagodas and Buddhist monasteries of Arunachal are great tourist attractions. Pagodas locally called ‘Gompas’ are places of veneration, or temples. The basic style of the pagodas comes from Indian stupas (like the ones shown in the photograph on the left of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial at Sriperambadur, TN, India). But the design has been adapted to suit different geographical locations and cultures.

They are truly beautiful structures. Some photographs of pagodas in Arunachal Pradesh are given below.

Photos: Copyright KO Isaac. Click on them for enlarged view.


Also see: Tibetan Prayer Flags


Maddy said...

one of the things i am yet to figure out is the extent of spread of buddhism in kerala. there were temples, even in palakkad, but nobody seems to have much of a clue!!

Abraham Tharakan said...

Maddy, you've brought up an interesting point. To my knowledge, before Hinduism as we know it today became established in Kerala, Jainism and then Buddhism were predominent.

You might have heard of 'Karimadi Kuttan'. It has become a usage in Malayam(Changanpuzha's 'Vazhakkula' says ' Karayum, chirikkum, idakkide thammila, karumadi kuttanmar malladikkum'.) Here the phrase denotes dark colored children.

Karimadi Kuttan is a black statue of Sri Buddha at a place known as Karimadi near Alleppey. It is said that the place got the name because of the black statue.

Thanks for giving me the lead. It seems to be good material for an article.