Home >> Encyclopedia-of-architecture-1852 >> Onument Of Lysicrates to Or Urbino 1trbin >> or Pagoda Pa God

or Pagoda Pa God

feet, pagodas, idols, hands, veneration, stones and seringham

PA GOD, or PAGODA, a name probably Indian, 'e hich the Portuguese have given to all the temples of the Indians, and all the idolaters of the East.

These pageds, or pagodas, are mostly square; they are stone buildings, which are not very lofty, and are erewned with a cupola. Within they are very dark ; for they have no windows, and only v reeek e their light through the entrance. The image of the idol stands in the deepest and darkest of the temple; is of a monstrous shape, and of uncouth dimensions, having many arms and hands. Some of these idols have eight, and others sixteen arms ; with a human body, and the head of a dog, with drawn bows and instruments of war in their hands. Some of them are black, others of a yellowish hue. In some pagodas there are no images, but only a single black polished stone, lying upon a round alta, covered with flowers and sandal-wood, which were strewed upon it. Greater veneration is manifested for these stones than for the idols themselves. Their worship of these divinities consists in throwing themselves upon the ground, and making their scam, or salutation, with their hands, and ejaculating their prayers in silence, in that pos ture. The offerings which they are accustomed to present to their gods, consist of flowers, rice, pieces of silk and cotton, and sometimes gold and silver. Everything is laid belbre the idols, and is taken care of the Brandt's. who profit the most by it. They chard the pagodas both by day and night. The pagodas of China arc lofty towers, which some times rise to the height of nine stories, of mere than 20 feet each, See CHINESE ARCHITECTURE.

In order to give such an idea of these buildings as may enable the reader to judge with respect to the early state of the arts in India, we shall briefly describe two, of which we have the most accurate accounts. The entry to the papda of Chillambruin, near Porto Novo, on the Coromandel coast, held in high veneration on account of its antiquity, is by a stately gate under a pyramid, feet in height, built with large stones above terty feet leng, and more than five feet square, and all cowered with plates of copper, adorned with an immense variety of figures, neatly executed. Tice whole

structure extends I332 feet in one direction, and :136 in another. Some of the ornamental parts are finished with an elegance entitled to the admiration of the must ingenious artists. The pagoda of Seringham, superior in sanctity to that of Chi'Iambi-um, surpasses it as inueh in grandeur ; tun], fortunately, we can convey a more perfect idea of it by ml opting the words of an elegant and accurate historian, This pagoda is situated about a mile from the western or the island of Seringham. formed by the division of the great river Caved, into two channels. "It is com of seven enclosures, one within the other, the walls of Which are feet high, and four thick. These enclosures are 350 feet distant from one another, and each has fur huge gates with a high tower ; which are ['heed, one in the middle of each side of the enclosure, and opposite to the four cardinal 'mints. The entw.ard wall is near four miles in eircuinference, and its gateway to the south is ornamented with pillars, several of which are single stones, 33 feet long, and nearly live in diameter: and those which form the roof are still larger ; in the inmost inclosures are the chapels. About half' a mile to the east of Seringlmon, and nearer to the Caveri than the Coleroon, is another large pagoda, called Jembikisma ; but this has only one inelosure. The extreme veneration in which Seringham is held, arises from a belief that it contains that identical image of the god Wistehnu, which used to be worshipped by the god Brahma. Pilgri Ms from all parts of the Peninsula come here to obtain absolution, and none come without an offering of money ; and a large part of the revenue of the island is allotted ffir the maintenance of the Brahmins who inhabit the pagoda; and these, w ith their thinilies, tiormerly composed a multitude not less than forty thousand souls maintained without labour, by the liberality of superstition. I lere, as in all the other great pagodas of India, the Brahmins live in a subordination which knows no resistance, and slumber in a voluptuousness w Inch know s no wants." The pa:otidas of the Chinese and Siamese are exceedingly magnificent. See INDIAN ARCHITECTURE.