The largest Buddhist Stupa in the western countries is being built in Australia. The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion which is under construction in Australia under the vision of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche will be the largest Buddhist stupa in the western world after its completion.
According to the official website of the stupa, the idea to build a Great Stupa on the property in Bendigo was the vision of Lama Thubten Yeshe. The idea to base the design of the stupa on the Great Stupa of Gyantse, was the vision of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa were the founders of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.
The Great Stupa is the same design and size as the Gyantse Stupa (Kumbum) in Tibet. The Gyantse Stupa is one of the treasures of the Buddhist world. Professor David L. Snellgrove has said: “The Stupa of Gyantse may well be accounted the chief wonder of the Tibetan Buddhist world in that it records iconographically in its interior practically the whole pantheon of Indo-Tibetan religion up to the time of its construction during the first half of the 15th century.”
The story about the project explains that a Gompa (temple) will be set up inside the Stupa with many features of traditional Tibetan gompas including large statues of Buddhas and deities. It will be used for pujas, meditation and teachings. It is also designed to present an overview of Buddhism to all visitors of any religion.
The Victorian Government has also contributed $2.5 million in regional development funds to support the required budget of $20 million to be raided through donations. The stupa is 50 metres square at its base and nearly 50 metres high, making it the largest stupa in the Western World.
Learn more about the project here.