Chinese Pagodas - Were they influenced by Hindu Temple architecture

The construction of pagodas began in China in the 1st century AD with the advent of Buddhism. The arrival of Buddhism took place under interesting circumstances. According to legends, Emperor Ming (58-75 AD) of the Eastern Han Dynasty once dreamt of a golden man, more than three meters tall, with a halo above his head, who came near his throne from the heavens and circled his palace. When he asked his ministers to interpret the dream, one of them, Fu Yi, told him that in the West (India) there is a god called Buddha, and the golden man that the emperor saw in his dream resembled him. The emperor then dispatched his emissaries to find out more about this new faith. In Afghanistan, they met two Buddhist masters from India – Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna - and persuaded them to return to China. The two monks agreed, and brought Buddhist scriptures, relics and statues of Buddha with them, on two white horses.

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Also see
1. Pictures of Bodh Gaya Mandir
2. India and China – the Beyond and the Within
3. Pictures of Temples of Japan

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