The Benalmádena stupa was designed to be the largest Buddhist stupa in the western world. The story behind the stupa goes back to 1990 when a Buddhist master came to Spain to give talks to the faithful in Vélez-Málaga. In Vélez, there is a Buddhist meditation centre.
Four years later, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche decided to return to Spain and build a stupa in Vélez Málaga, where he had given his talks. His idea was to give the area a monument that would symbolize peace and prosperity for Spain.