nl en

Architecture: The Temple and the Stupa


Admission requirements

Successful completion of 5481K2IHI Introduction to Hinduism or 5481K1IBU Introduction to Buddhism or 5481V1PGZ Premodern Histories of SSEA or equivalent knowledge of South and Southeast Asian history and society. Please, contact the Coordinator of Studies or E.M. Raven, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the above mentioned requirement.


In this course we study monuments that visually co-define the South and Southeast Asian architectural landscape. The first part of this course focuses on the Hindu temple, specifically in India, Indonesia and Cambodia, from the early beginnings of temple building to more recent times. It discusses characteristic features, diversity of forms, symbolism of the temple, ritual functions, the creation of sacred space and orientation, the importance of water, iconographic programmes that optimize the architectural and ritual functionality of built space, and networks of temples. The second part of the course focuses on the Buddhist stupa, from the earliest examples in India (Sanchi and Bharhut) to a famous eighth-century example in Indonesia (Borobudur) and more recent examples in Tibet, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. Themes to be discussed will include: characteristic features, diversity of forms and functions, the stupa and the monastery, the stupa as a place of pilgrimage and expression of faith and conversion, and the creation of a Buddhist landscape.

Course objectives

  • Advanced knowledge of Asia’s religious architecture

  • Insight in the form and function of religious architecture

  • Insight in the relevance of iconographic programmes to the function and meaning of architecture

  • Academic skills to present a case study, both orally by means of Powerpoint, and in written form


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


Oral presentation, intermediate exam (tussentoets) and paper


  • Oral presentations: 20%

  • Intermediate exam (tussentoets): 40%

  • Paper (1500 words): 40%


There will be a resit of the written exam. The grade of this resit will replace the grade of the first intermediate exam and have a weight of 40%. The paper may be revised after feedback of the lecturer, if handed in before the set deadline.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Syllabus with reading list will be posted on the blackboard site at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar. * For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof