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Mingun Pahtodawgyi

Mingun Pahtodawgyi or Pahtodawgyi Pagoda is an unfinished stupa monument in Mingun Town, Sagaing Region, Myanmar, built by King Bodawpaya who ruled the Burmese Kingdom from 11 February 1782 to 5 June 1819. The ruins facing the Irrawaddy River are the remains of the project a massive construction that began in 1790 and was deliberately unfinished.

Mingun Pahtodawgyi is a monument that is intentionally not equipped and becomes a physical manifestation of the eccentricity of the ruler. Bodawpaya used thousands of prisoners of war from an expansionist campaign for the construction of stupas. Construction also caused massive casualties to the people.

Xvlor Mingun Pahtodawgyi was unfinished pagoda by King Bodawpaya Mingun Pahtodawgyi was unfinished pagoda by King Bodawpaya

A prophecy states that as soon as the pagoda-building project is completed, the country will also disappear and the king will die. The king established an observation post outside Mingun to oversee the construction of the temple. Construction is slowed to prevent prophecy and when Bodawpaya dies, the project is completely discontinued.

Another theory is the scale of the project that exceeds capacity. The size of the pagoda was much larger than anything else in its time, the possibility of technical difficulties in the construction. Another problem is insufficient labor where prisoners of war brought to construction projects have escaped.

A nearby model pagoda that resembles many of the major pagoda projects such as the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Thatbyinnyu Shrine is a small scale of what is planned for Mingun Pahtodawgyi to be a 150 meters (490 feet) temple. The temple also holds the record as the largest pile of bricks in the world.

King Bodawpaya also has built a giant bell for the big stupa. The Mingun Bell has a weight of 90 tons as the second largest bell in the world. The size of the bell's weight on the Burmese scale is 55,555 vis or peiktha where 1 viss is 1.63 kg. Consonants represent the number 5 in astronomy and numerology of Burma.

In front of the pagoda are the remains of two gigantic Chinthe lion statues 29 meters long. In the center of the pagoda overlooking the Irrawaddy River is a very luxurious entrance. Inside the pagoda is a small shrine with Buddha images. The pagoda has reached a height of 50 meters or a third of the plan when the construction project was abandoned.

The earthquake of March 23, 1839 caused a massive crack in the surface of the structure and the heads of giant Chinthes slid into the Irrawaddy River. A small shrine with Buddhist images still serves shrines and meditation. Mingun Pahtodawgyi was unfinished pagoda by King Bodawpaya

Xvlor Mingun Pahtodawgyi was unfinished pagoda by King Bodawpaya

Location: Mingun Town, Sagaing Region, Myanmar

Routes and public transport: Flights to Mandalay International Airport in Mandalay City, then drive to Mingun for 10 kilometers. The easiest and most enjoyable way is to use a boat from Mandalay to Mingun dock for about 1 hour, then walk or take the ox cart to the temple.

Advice: Temple on the west bank of Irrawaddy River in north part of Mingun city. Mingun's bells are a few hundred meters to the north of the Temple. It is possible to climb to the top of the pagoda using the 174 steps to the right of the building to view the Hsinbyume Pagoda, Irrawaddy River, and Minwun Hill.

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