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Dagobas in China

The dagoba is a pagoda of Tibetan style and its most remarkable example is the White Dagoba in Beijing's Miaoyingsi (Temple). The Mongolians of China were believers of the Lamaist school of Buddhism, which originated in Tibet. When Kublai Khan (Emperor Shizu) of the Yuan Dynasty united the country in 1260 he set about rebuilding a large Liao Dynasty dagoba in Beijing into the symbol of the Mongolian regime blessed with divine power to keep the capital's inhabitants and the nation in peaceful submission.

The project took eight years and was completed in 1271. The 731-year-old dagoba is like a nectar vessel or divine vase rising 50 meters towards the clouds, towering and dignified.

The dagoba consists of three parts: the base, the body and the crown. The base, covering 1,422 square meters, is a huge platform of brick representing the 'throne of Mt. Sumeru'. The main pan of the body is in the shape of an upturned alms-bowl more than 18 meters across. Higher up is the part like a truncated tapering column bearing the sign of the Buddhist wheel. It carries on its top a canopy 9.7 meters across like a huge, opened umbrella. Hung from the edge of the canopy are a ring of 36 bronze bells, which tinkle in the wind. The crown of the dagoba, on the plate of the canopy, is a smaller pagoda of 4 meters, glistening with its gold plate in sunlight.

Chinese dagobas were patterned after Nepalese prototypes. The Beijing dagoba just described was designed by a Nepalese engineer known in Chinese as Anigo. So it shows in its appearance an obvious foreign artistic style. It remains an eloquent symbol of the enduring friendship between China and her Himalayan neighbor.

The Close-Eaved Pagoda
The Tower Pagoda The Diamond-Throne Pagodas 
Stupas and Pagodas
Mother-and-Children Pagodas 
Forest of Pagoda

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