Small stupa, Loriyan Tangai, Peshawar District
Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a small Buddhist stupa from Lorian Tangai, taken by Alexander Caddy in 1896. This miniature stupa now forms the central point of the collection of sculptures in the Gandhara Room in the Indian Museum in Calcutta. Stupas are hemispherical monuments made of earth and usually encased in brick or stone. They are a focus of worship at Buddhist religious sites and from the first century AD onwards they became commonplace in Peshawar. The square base of the stupa has panels depicting eight scenes from the life of Buddha each separated by an Indo-Corinthian pillar. The circular drums are decorated with a row of seated Buddhas, a row of small male figures, possibly children, and an abstract geometric pattern of squares respectively. The hemispherical dome is decorated with a carved lotus which has a relief panel on one side divided into three sections; the upper a representation of Buddha's begging-bowl with the other two sections below showing Buddha with his attendants. The stupa is topped by a series of umbrellas.