Pagoda has its origin from Indian stupa, an ancient type of building used to store sutras and sacred relics of Buddha. With the spread of Buddhism to China, Chinese architectural elements were gradually incorporated into pagoda design. Its tapering design reaching to the sky is synonymous with the idea of practicing Buddhism step by step which finally leads to supreme enlightenment. Although different in appearance from its stupa forebears, it continues to symbolize the Buddha, and building one generates much merit. Nowadays it may be used as a resting place for cremated ashes of devotees.