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pagoda(pəgō`də), name given in the East to a variety of buildings of tower form that are usually part of a temple or monastery group and serve as shrines. Those of India (see stupastupa
[Sanskrit,=mound], Buddhist monument in tumulus, or mound, form, often containing relics. The words tope and dagoba are synonymous, though the latter properly refers only to a Sinhalese Buddhist stupa.
..... Click the link for more information. ) are chiefly pyramidal structures of masonry, tapering to an apex and elaborately adorned with carving and sculpture. In China the pagoda, derived from India, is one of the most characteristic architectural types and in general is devoted to sacred usage. Octagonal, hexagonal, or square in plan, they are built in superimposed stories, sometimes as many as 15; from each story projects an upward-curving tiled roof. The material most commonly used is brick, often faced with slabs of glazed and colored tile. A few date back to the T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618–906). In Japan the pagodas were introduced from China with Buddhism. They are usually square in plan and five stories high, each story having its projecting roof. Generally made of wood, they exhibit superb carpentry craftsmanship. The Horyu-ji tower near Nara, of the 7th cent., is a noted example.
a type of Buddhist religious structure in the Far East. Repositories of Buddhist relics, pagodas serve as memorials and also mark “holy” places. Some are in the form of pavilions or towers (often many-tiered), and others are in the form of obelisks. Usually four-, six-, eight-, or 12-sided, they may be built of wood, brick, stone, or metal. The pagoda as a type of architecture developed during the early centuries of the Common Era in China and later spread to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.