Buddha Vihar - Connecting Traditional and Contemporary Architecture

The Buddha Vihar is located six kilometers from Gulbarga city on Sedam Road. The Vihara is spread over 24 acres of land and rises 60 feet above the ground level.

The Buddha Vihar is situated on a hillock and is on three levels. Each level is about a hundred feet long. The path to the vihara is covered by greenery on both sides. The Vihara is about 500 feet from the main entrance and surrounded by gardens, flowers and fruit bearing trees. The Vihara is surrounded by four Ashoka pillars in the four directions in honour of King Ashoka the Great. The four entrances to the vihara are based on the Sanchi gate.

The base structure of the vihara is approximately 32,450 square feet and the entire structure rests on 170 pillars. There are around 284 blocks and every block is exquisitely designed in the tradition of the Ajanta art. The six foot tall Buddha idol in the prayer hall has been carved from single black stone by the sculptor Sri Ashok Gudikara who hails from Bidadi. This unique statue has the compassionate and serene Buddha seated on a lotus with an aureole engraved with Yakshas and Yakshis.

The ground floor has a sanctum sanctorum where about two thousand devotees can be seated and offer their prayers. The Buddha idol in the ground floor weighs 400 kilograms and is the biggest sitting statue of the Buddha in South India. The idol was consecrated on Vijayadashami, 9th October, 2008. The roof tiara of the prayer hall consists of sculptures depicting important events in the life of the Buddha.

The doors of the Vihara made out of rosewood and teakwood are exquisitely carved by Sri Kaiser Ali who belongs to an well known family of Mysore palace artists.

The main dome is 70 feet wide in diameter and 59 feet high and is tiled with marble. The dome has an ornamental spire made of panchaloha with a kalasha on top of it also made of panchaloha. The kalasha was installed during the visit of Her Excellency The President of India and His Holiness The Dalai Lama to the Buddha Vihar in January, 2009.

(C) MMXI Siddhartha Vihar Trust