Anatomy of a Stupa

Inside one of the plentiful shrines and towers of the Shwedagon temple complex, I found one in which the supporting structure hadn’t been bricked and gilded over. The contrast of minimalist teal and lathe with the traditionally ornate, bejeweled angels lent the pagoda something of the Met’s ambiance.

In truth, I’m not sure whether that would really be the understructure of a stupa. It looks a bit more like what’s called the “umbrella,” but my knowledge of Buddhist statuary & architecture is too limited to be sure.