The Stupa rises high

THE Great Stupa of Universal Compassion has achieved another milestone. 

The Bumpa, a two-storey steel structure and the most important level of the Great Stupa, has been erected on top of an already-constructed six-level concrete building. 

Great Stupa chairman Ian Green said the steel structure would hold holy relics.

“The erection of the Bumpa is a very important step for us as it takes us well over the halfway point in the overall height of the Stupa," he said.  

"It also gives the visitor a very good idea of the overall form of the Stupa”.

Mr Green said the Bumpa would be the highest level the public would be allowed to visit. 

The next phase of the construction is the Hamika which will contain the most valuable relics and will be off limits to the public. 

The Great Stupa will incorporate 80 shrine rooms once complete and will stand about 48 metres high. 

Great Stupa marketing manager Dee Nissanke said the Bumpa was part of a $1.8 million construction cost which would be spent on the project in the next 12 months. 

He said the Stupa would have lighting, a PA system and flooring installed, and painted in time for a visit from the project's spiritual director Lama Zopa in September next year. 

Mr Nissanke said the Stupa was unique. 

We haven’t heard of anything like this anywhere in the world - it is truly unique. - Dee Nissanke

"We haven’t heard of anything like this anywhere in the world - it is truly unique," he said. 

The construction of the Great Stupa is expected to be completed in 2015. 

The project will then move into the decorating phase soon after. 

It is being funded through donations and government grants. 

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