Cover image for Buddhist stupas in Asia : the shape of perfection
Buddhist stupas in Asia : the shape of perfection
Wassman, Bill.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Melbourne ; London : Lonely Planet, 2001.
Physical Description:
173 pages : color illustrations, plans ; 28 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BQ5125.S8 W37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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The mysterious stupa is one of the oldest and most persistent religious structures still in everyday use. A durable symbol of Buddhism, the stupa spread throughout India and Asia with the growth of the Buddhist religion. Considered to be the shape of perfection, the appeal of the stupa is constant and almost mystical.Seeking the key that will unlock the true meaning of the shape of perfection, Asian art historian Joe Cummings explores the vast and varied history of the stupa. Lavishly illustrated in full colour, this detailed pictorial includes rice paper inserts and overlays of plans.

Author Notes

Popular author Joe Cummings has a master's degree in Asian history and is fluent in Thai and Lao. Bill Wassman has been a travel photographer since the mid-1970s and is widely published in books and magazines.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lonely Planet presents Buddhist Stupas in Asia: The Shape of Perfection, exploring stupas (sacred structures that function as memorials of enlightenment) in 13 Asian countries. As shown in more than 250 color photographs, stupas are tremendously diverse in appearance, ranging from gold-topped domes to marble temples to giant sculptures. Some stupas serve as reliquaries, or repositories for relics of enlightened masters. This informative, beautiful book is a fine introduction to the sacred art and architecture of Buddhism. Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Stupas are Buddhist shrines of varying size, shape, age, elaborateness, and style of detail. Found throughout Asia, they continue to play a key role in the spiritual lives of millions of people. Some, such as Borodudur in Indonesia and Shwedagon in Myanmar, are major tourist attractions as well as active pilgrimage sites. In this gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully written book, writer Cummings (Baja Handbook) and photographer Wassman (Insight Guides) capture the beauty and meaning of stupas and explain how they have been built, how they are used today, and how they vary from region to region (countries covered include India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Tibet, and more). Also included are transparent overlays that show construction details and interior floor plans. Robert A.F. Thurman, Columbia University authority on Tibetan Buddhism, has contributed a concise and insightful foreword. This fine book is fairly priced and will surely find a readership in all libraries. Harold M. Otness, formerly of Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.