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BUDDHIST MONASTERY:

The term Monastery is derived from a Greek word ‘monasterion’ which means the habitat and workplace of a community of monks or nuns.

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http://www.buddhist-temples.com/buddhist-monastery/index.html

Monastery denotes the building or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workspaces of monastics whether monks or nuns and whether living in community or alone.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monastery

Buddhist Monasteries, also known as Viharas or Gompas, emerged sometime around the fourth century BC. During the rainy season (Vassa), the wandering monks used to stay in temporary shelters which were simple dwellings. However as it was considered as an act of merit to shelter him, sumptuous monasteries were created by rich lay devotees.

From the first century CE onwards, Viharas also developed into educational institutions, due to the increasing demands for teaching in Mahayana Buddhism. As permanent monasteries became established, the name ‘Vihara” was kept. Some Viharas became extremely important institutions, some of them evolving into major Buddhist Universities with thousands of students such as Nalanda.

Today, a Buddhist Monastery is not just a place of worship but also a centre for research on Buddhist philosophies, psychology & on comparative studies between the east and the west. It also acts as a centre for social gathering and celebration during any religious or cultural activity. It provides opportunities to the people to know more about the religion, its beliefs and its background. People come there to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom through meditation, and following the spiritual path. Thus, the building is associated with not only the functions and activities but also with the philosophy of the religion and the psychology of a man.

NEED & RELEVANCE:

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development, providing a person with insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices, such as meditation, serve as the means of changing oneself, in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. Buddhism is not about teaching or learning, but about experiencing. A monastery provides a place where one can learn and practice the preaching of Lord Buddha. Here one learns to be fully responsible for his live and to develop the qualities of wisdom and comparison.

The state of Maharashtra in India is dotted with numerous Buddhist sites like - Ajanta, Ellora, Junnar, Karle, Kanheri and Bhaja. Of all the Buddhist caves in Maharashtra, Ajanta and Ellora caves are most famous and World heritage sites as they represent one of the masterpieces of sculpture and paintings. Thousands of Buddhist pilgrims around the world pay their visit to these holy places for religious visits. As a result, the place demands a center where these pilgrims can rest, meditate and also learn and practice the teachings of Lord Buddha. Also, the state of Maharashtra has quite a good number of Buddhist populations and there is no Buddhist Monastery in state. This provides an ideal background for the construction of a Buddhist Monastery in the locality.

the construction of a Buddhist Monastery in the locality. Map of Maharashtra showing different Buddhist sites

Map of Maharashtra showing different Buddhist sites

Map of Maharashtra showing different Buddhist sites Location map of the site showing Phardapur, Ajanta Caves

Location map of the site showing Phardapur, Ajanta Caves and river Waghur

AIM:

To design a Buddhist Monastery, that will function as a centre for religious work & meditation, a centre for Buddhist learning and a residence for the monks.

OBJECTIVES:

1. To design a complex which will function as a place of worship, a cultural hub,

a religious institution, a meditation center, a group of residences, and a tourist spot.

2. To understand the various activities and the relation between them.

3. To understand and design the different spaces required for different activities

and their arrangement to suit the users best.

4. To understand and study the philosophy of Buddhism and Buddhist

Architecture and incorporate them in the design of the building and the spaces- both open

and closed.

SCOPE & LIMITATIONS:

At the time of selection of thesis topic, major criteria were to incorporate the aspects of philosophy of Buddhism into the building and the spaces and to study the multifunctional quality of the project. This study aims only at the development of the architectural form of the Buddhist Monastery, Phardapur. Also as the site is in close proximity with Ajanta Caves, the structure will be highly influenced by them. The urban planning issues shall be considered only with respect to the site planning. The site selected here is the actual site proposed for project, thus ensuring authenticity of work. There would be no hypothetical site proposed, even if the existing site is found to incompetent. The norms also shall be followed as per the urban design guidelines in the proposed location of the site. Having acknowledged

that a Buddhist Monastery has to incorporate the culture and architecture in philosophy, concept, motifs architectural style, and materials, all of the above or some as found suitable, it was required that a thorough, extensive study of the Buddhist Religion, its history, forms and philosophies related to Buddhism is consequent.

The site is located at Phardapur in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It belongs to a welfare trust known as the Venerable Vidyanada which has established several Buddhist schools and other buildings all over the country. It has a site area of 18.6 Acres (75000sq.m.) and is in close proximity to the world heritage site of Ajanta Caves (1.2 km). The location of the site is strategic as it is not directly connected to the Ajanta Caves or the village, so the intervention is less. The site is peaceful and serene making it an ideal condition for a Monastery.

so the intervention is less. The site is peaceful and serene making it an ideal condition

Site layout

The constraints to the project are as follows:

1. There are not many specific standards available for a Buddhist Monastery as a

result of which I will have to create my own standards mainly through Case-Studies.

2. There is no standard architecture or form of Buddhist Monastery all over the

world. Different cultures use different types of Buddhist Architecture.

3. There are not many modern Buddhist Monasteries in the country which is

equivalent to the scale of the project that can be referred.

4. The Case-Studies i.e. Tawang Monastery, Semtokha Dzong & Tashi Chhoe

Dzong, are not among the buildings that were initially designed by an Architect.

5. There

is

a

need,

to

some extent,

to go through in detail the religious

philosophies in order to know more about Buddhism and Buddhist Philosophies.

6. There is not much data and information available in English/Hindi.

METHODOLOGY:

Finalization of topic

METHODOLOGY: Finalization of topic Research & Literature survey about the topic from websites, journals, articles and

Research & Literature survey about the topic from websites, journals, articles and organizers

the topic from websites, journals, articles and organizers Study about similar centers, globally from websites,

Study about similar centers, globally from websites, journals books etc

similar centers, globally from websites, journals books etc Selection of potential case studies, the aspects to

Selection of potential case studies, the aspects to be studied in each and the feasibility of the study. Study of literature significant to the topic and design

Study of literature significant to the topic and design Conducting case studies, interviews with the clients,

Conducting case studies, interviews with the clients, organizers, to understand the topic as to why and where. Looking up standards and norms about similar structures

Looking up standards and norms about similar structures Finalizing requirements, areas and constraints after

Finalizing requirements, areas and constraints after reference to various case studies, norms, standards and desk appraisals

various case studies, norms, standards and desk appraisals Site Finalization and Analysis Conceptual Design and

Site Finalization and Analysis

standards and desk appraisals Site Finalization and Analysis Conceptual Design and Sketches Pre-Final Design and Drawings

Conceptual Design and Sketches

desk appraisals Site Finalization and Analysis Conceptual Design and Sketches Pre-Final Design and Drawings Final Design
desk appraisals Site Finalization and Analysis Conceptual Design and Sketches Pre-Final Design and Drawings Final Design

Pre-Final Design and Drawings

desk appraisals Site Finalization and Analysis Conceptual Design and Sketches Pre-Final Design and Drawings Final Design

Final Design

1)

CASE STUDIES:

a. Namgyal

Galden

Lhatse

(The

Tawang

Monastery),

Tawang,

Arunachal

Pradesh

b. Semtokha Dzong, Thimphu, Bhutan.

 

c. Tashi Chhoe Dzong, Thimphu, Bhutan.

d. Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

2)

INTERVIEWS OF AUTHORITIES & STAFFS:

 

a. Mr. Thupthen Tsering, Teacher & incharge of main Prayer Hall, Tawang Monastery

b. Mr. Sangay Tsering, office staff, Tawang Monastery

c. Ar. Choni Dorji, Architect, Division for Conservation of Architectural Heritage, Royal Government of Bhutan.

d. Ar. Nagtsho Dorji, Architect, Division for Conservation of Architectural Heritage, Royal Government of Bhutan.

e. Mr. Phub Tshering, student, 2 nd yr, Semtokha Dzong.

Synopsis

BUDDHIST MONASTERY

AT PHARDAPUR

By, Arnav Saikia,

051110016, X-SEM B. ARCH

Under The Guidance Of Ar. Krishna Kumar Dhote

Dept. of Architecture and Planning, MANIT, Bhopal

2010