An accomplished Buddhist master with strong connections to Spain was responsible for the largest Stupa in the West being constructed in Benalmadena.
Visitors driving along the motorway behind Benalmadena may be surprised to see the brilliant white ‘monument’ rising from the urban landscape. This impressive building is a Buddhist Stupa opened in 2003. A stupa, perhaps better known as a pagoda in Japan, was originally, in about 300BC, an earth mound containing relics of the Buddha. Over the centuries, as the number of stupas increased and spread, the buildings became grander and assumed a place of veneration.
The modern stupas are built to represent the Buddha in meditation. The very top is his crown, the white square at the base of the golden spire symbolizes his head, his body is the upturned pot shape beneath the square and his legs are the ‘steps’ beneath the ‘pot’ The base of the stupa is his throne. The stupa at Benalmadena is, at 33 metres, the tallest in Europe, and was initiated by the Buddhist master Lopon Tsedhu Rinpoche. He taught and built his first stupa near Velez-Malaga. A further 16 were built throughout Europe with Benalmadena his last project before his death in 2003.