The Enlightenment Stupa: Buddhist Temple – Benalmádena

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itThe Benalmádena Enlightenment Stupa is an impressive 33-meter-high monument that was built to be a place of meditation and prayer for world peace. This buddhist temple is located on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Benalmadena, providing a tranquil and relaxing environment for those who wish to visit, and represents peace, prosperity, and harmony in the world.

A monument of peace and spirituality in Benalmádena

Visiting the Enlightenment Stupa is a unique and very special experience. The stupa is located in a peaceful and isolated place, surrounded by nature, making the visit very relaxing and enriching. Visitors can take a guided tour in which the history and philosophy of the stupa are explained, as well as the meditation and prayer techniques that are performed inside.

“THE LARGEST BUDDHIST STUPA IN EUROPE”

Entrada a la Estupa de la Iluminación, Benalmádena
Entrance to the Stupa of Enlightenment

History of the Benalmádena Enlightenment Stupa

Stupas are the oldest architectural structures and were built in all countries where Buddhist philosophy existed.

The Benalmádena Stupa is a Tibetan Buddhist temple inaugurated in October 2003 and was built by the inspiration of the great Buddhist master Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche and the Polish architect Wojtek Kossowski.

According to Buddhist beliefs, there are 8 types of stupas, and each one is built exactly with precise instructions. Each type represents an important event in the life of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.

The one in Benalmádena represents a spiritual and mental state that Buddha experienced after 49 days of meditation under the bodhi tree. It is the only one that has a space for meditation inside.

Vista nocturna de la Estupa de la Iluminación
Night vision

The 8 Types of Tibetan Stupas

1. Lotus Stupa
2. Enlightenment Stupa
3. Turning the Wheel of Dharma Stupa
4. Great Miraculous Stupa
5. Descent from the Heaven of Tushita Stupa
6. Reconciliation Stupa
7. Victory Stupa
8. Parinirvana Stupa

Characteristics of the Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena

The Enlightenment Stupa of Benalmádena is a Tibetan Buddhist temple 33 meters high. It is the first stupa built in Spain and the largest in the West. It was built with the collaboration of the Buddhist community of Spain and other countries and was inaugurated in October 2003.

Design and Construction

The stupa was designed following the Tibetan tradition and built following the criteria of Buddhist sacred architecture. The stupa is composed of five levels that represent the five main elements of Buddhism: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Each level is decorated with different symbols and colors representing Buddhist philosophy.

Interior of the Stupa

Inside the stupa, there is an image of Buddha and an altar for offering prayers and petitions. In addition, the Enlightenment Stupa is an exception, as stupas are generally sealed monuments, but this one has a meditation room of about 100 square meters inside and a basement where exhibitions on Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan culture are usually held.

Decoration and Shop

The walls of the temple are decorated with the hands of Nepalese artists with the most important moments of Buddha’s life. In addition, next to the temple, there is a shop where you can buy items related to Buddhism, such as books and traditional handmade ceramics from Bhutan.

Interior walls

Views and Location

The Enlightenment Stupa is located on a hill with views of the Mediterranean Sea, providing a peaceful and relaxing environment for those who wish to visit it. From the Mediterranean highway, the bright and golden cone that rises from the top of the stupa can be seen, making it a visual landmark.

From the Mediterranean highway, we can see the bright and golden cone that rises from the top of the stupa, “we could compare it to the stopper of a perfume bottle”.

Vista de la Estupa de La Iluminación desde la autovía
View of the Stupa of Illumination from the highway

Hours of the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena

The Buddhist temple in Benalmadena is open:

  • From Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Closed on Mondays.

Activities and Prices of the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena

Admission to the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena is free, although a voluntary contribution is requested for the conservation and maintenance of the temple. However, access to the meditation room and the underground exhibition costs 2 euros.

The Enlightenment Stupa offers different activities for those interested in delving into the philosophy and practice of Tibetan Buddhism. On Tuesdays and Fridays, starting at 6:00 p.m., an open meditation session is held for the general public. On Sundays at 6:00 p.m., there are lectures on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, also open to the public.

In addition, the Stupa has a center for Buddhist studies, which offers courses and workshops on different aspects of Buddhist culture and philosophy. These courses and workshops have a variable cost, depending on their duration and content.

More information at: https://www.stupabenalmadena.org/en/

How to get to the Enlightenment Stupa?

To get to the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena, there are different options:

  • By car: The Stupa is located at the top of the mountain of Benalmadena Pueblo. It can be accessed via the A-368, taking the exit towards Benalmadena Pueblo and following the signs to the Stupa. Once in the town, you can follow the signs until you reach the top.
  • By public transport: The most convenient option to get there by public transport is to take bus number M-103 from Arroyo de la Miel train station towards Benalmadena Pueblo. Once in the town, you can walk to the Stupa or take a taxi or local bus.
  • On foot: It is also possible to reach the Stupa by walking from the center of the town of Benalmadena. The path can be a bit steep, but it is a pleasant walk that offers panoramic views of the town and the coast.

Follow the directions to get there by clicking aquí.