Friday, October 3, 2008

The Maitreya Buddha Project, Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India:

The focal point of Indian architecture, like its culture, has always been religious in nature. Just as the Indian economic boom is bringing incredible economic and architectural growth in the secular area, so has Indian religious architecture once again become manifest in the creation of some of the worlds largest, massive, and most intricate religious architecture the world has seen.

Maitreya Buddha Project

Now, another great religious project has officially been given the go-ahead in one of the poorest parts of India. The Maitreya Project is a tribute to Buddhism for and from the land of the Buddha and is as a multi-faith cooperative designed by Tibetans who call India their home as as a lasting gift to India and Buddhism.

In this era of veritable skyscraper-hedonism (*cough*Dubai*coughh* j/k), this project is unique in that it is designed to fulfill a completely selfless goal, namely "to benefit as many people as possible."

A monumental sustainable work of art that will serve as a constant source of inspiration and a symbol of loving-kindness, work will soon begin on the 152 meter-tall Maitreya Buddha Statue that is the centerpiece of a large temple complex. An engineering marvel that at will not only be -- at three times the size of the Statue of Liberty -- the world's tallest statue and world's tallest temple but will also be the world's largest (first?) statue-skyscraper, designed to for a lifespan surpassing a 1,000 years.

^ A cutaway view of the 152 meter Maitreya statue and throne building showing the spaces and levels within. Note that the throne itself will be a 17 storey fully functional temple, with 15 additional shrine rooms in the the body of the Maitreya statue.

The statue is a temple that will contain 17 individual shrine rooms. The highest room at 140 meters high -- the equviliant of the 40th storey of a standard building -- making the statue a veritable temple-skyscraper as well. This statue and complex will be a fusion of Indian and Tibetan architectural styles that will adhere to ancient Vaastu Shastra design code and will also hold the world's largest collection of Lord Buddha's relics.

Apart from the statue/skyscraper, the Maitreya Project organizers will also build free hospitals and schools servicing tens of thousands of poor, and also be a huge catalyst for infrastructure and tourism development efforts in one of the most economically backwards parts of India.

The project is a joint religious collaboration by organizations representing the various sects and faiths that revere the Buddha: from Hinduism to Mahayana to Vajrayana to Hinayana to Jaina to Christian and Muslim. Under guidance of the overall project conceptualizer, Nepalese-Tibetan spiritual leader Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Project was funded by Buddhist and Hindu temples, social organizations, religious groups and by individuals in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, the UK and America.

Through this project, India once again shows that the ancient arts of massive devotional architecture continues to undergo a veritable renaissance.

Found Here:

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