THE Great Stupa of Universal Compassion has won Tripadvisor's Travellers Choice 2020 award.
It comes as the largest stupa in the western world goes back into coronavirus lockdown for the second time this year.
The Victorian government will bring in a new round of restrictions across the state from midnight tonight after a spike in infections including in Bendigo, close to the Great Stupa.
Stupa chairman Ian Green said the lockdown had made the win bittersweet.
"The Great Stupa cannot wait to welcome back visitors when the time is right, to continue to deliver an exceptional experience here in Bendigo, Victoria," he said.
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers' Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from tourists and are ranked within the top 10 per cent of properties on its website.
The award is based on millions of reviews of properties around the world.
Stupas are the most sacred buildings in Buddhism and the one near Bendigo is based on one in Tibet called the Gyantse Stupa.
Workers began building the Great Stupa in 2003 and finished exterior construction earlier this year when they installed a four-metre tall finial at its highest point.
It attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, from tourists to religious pilgrims. The Dalai Lama visited in 2007.
It has also become the site of popular community celebrations including Illumin8, a festival that includes multicultural performances and an animated light show on the walls of the stupa itself.
The stupa was not the only winner in town. BIG4's Bendigo Marong Holiday Park was also among those to win the Tripadvisor award.
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