(poss. from dāgaba
, ‘relic-container’, via Portuguese). Buddhist structure, developed from the Indian stūpa
, and often a name for a stūpa. Its many variations contain characteristic features in common: they are usually raised and narrow structures, with four or eight sides, with several levels and prominent eaves. On the top is a post with many rings encircling it. Pagodas, like stūpas, contain relics
) of a/the Buddha, or of a famous teacher/master. They express the Buddhist cosmos in symbolic form. A pagoda is thus a maṇḍala
in its own right.
In the history of Buddhist architecture, the placing of the pagoda is the issue which then dominates the overall layout and design of Buddhist temple areas and monasteries. The geographical solutions to the problem are diverse, but always provide a clue to the religious priorities of the community and age involved.
European term for a tall structure, often polygonal on plan, of several separately roofed stories marked by upturned eaves
, fretwork brackets, and, often, ornaments resembling bells (campanulae
) suspended from the eaves. Based on Chinese templetowers, pagodas were used as garden-buildings in the C18 Chinoiserie
manner (e.g. Chambers
's Pagoda at Kew Gardens
Lampugnani (ed.)& Dinsmoor (1986);
Jane Turner (1996)
in the form of a multi-storeyed, tapering tower. The basic design is either square or polygonal, and each storey is a smaller replica of the one beneath. The storeys often have wide, overhanging roofs, and the buildings are usually made of wood, brick, or stone. Pagodas originated in India
and spread with the diffusion of Buddhism
, and Japan
pa·go·da / pəˈgōdə/ •
n. a Hindu or Buddhist temple or sacred building, typically a many-tiered tower, in India and the Far East. ∎ an ornamental imitation of this.
a Hindu or Buddhist temple or sacred building, typically a many-tiered tower, in India
and the Far East. Recorded from the late 16th century, the word comes from Portuguese pagode
, perhaps based on Persian butkada
‘temple of idols’, influenced by Prakrit bhagodī
pagoda-tree a mythical tree humorously supposed to produce pagodas
, in this sense gold or silver coins formerly current in southern India; the expression shake the pagoda-tree
meant to make a fortune in India under the East India Company.
idol temple; idol; coin of S. India (from the figure thereon). XVII (pagod(e)
XVI). — Pg. pagode
, prob. ult. — Pers. butkada
idol temple, f. but
idol + kada