6 • The Stupa on Podium
At Saidu the Stupa is built upon a raised square podium. The stupa on podium pattern, with a central stairway and thus a frontal approach, is directly connected to the narrative pattern of the figured frieze. This way, a harmony is created between the two, the stupa with frontal stairway offering ideal architectural framing for the – biographical – narrative progression shown by the frieze. The narrative needs a starting point, which is possible only with a single entrance. The fact that there is only one entrance is accounted for by the elevation of the podium, while in the case of a traditional stupa it would appear decidedly odd if not indeed bizarre to have only one entrance.