What is a pagoda?


A pagoda (pronounced puh GOH da) is a tall, tower like building found in many Asian countries.  Pagodas usually are used for temples and shrines.  They are made up of several tiers or stories, and are often richly decorated.

It is the Chinese and Japanese pagodas that most people know best.

The typical Chinese pagoda has eight sides and many stories.  Each story is shadowed by wide, tiled caves that turn up at the corners.  Small bells are often hung from the corners.  These will tinkle when the wind blows.

The different stories of a pagoda are symbolic and represent a journey from earth to heaven.  A tall spire is on the top of most pagodas.  Pagodas are often used as memorial buildings in China.  These unusual structures were first built in ancient India.

The idea of pagodas spread into China, Japan and other parts of Asia along with the religious called Buddhism.

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