“The stupa (“stupa” is Sanskrit for heap) is an important form of Buddhist architecture… At its simplest, a stupa is a dirt burial mound faced with stone.” (source) The Swaymbhunath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, is far from a simple mound! In the photo above, the textured curved white base is the stupa itself; atop it is the “yasti, or spire, which symbolizes the axis mundi (a line through the earth’s center around which the universe is thought to revolve)”.
You can get a better idea of the scale of the Swaymbhunath Stupa complex in the photo below. For more information on Swaymbhunath Stupa, and a more comprehensive photo, go here.
Posted for Becky’s SquareUp challenge. I’ve gone with “playing around with the word up”.