Archive for the ‘Famous Pagodas’ Category


Author

U Shwe Zan is a native of Rakhine Slate Myanmar Naingngan. He passed B.Sc. from University of Yangon in 1952. Joined Burma (Myanmar) Civil Service (Sr.Br.) in 1954. Served as a Senior Branch Officer, Selection Grade Officer and Senior Administrative Officer in different posts at different places in the Union of Myanmar for 24 years.

Elected as a member of Rakhine State Peoples’ Council in 1978 and served as Secretary of State Council for two successive terms and Chairman of the State Judges Committee for the third term.

During tenure of his Slate Committee Service he look the responsibility of editorship and publisher of the Rakhine Stale Magazine issued in commemoration of the lOlh an-niversary of the Rakhine Stale and served as Chairman of the Publishing Committee of Mrauk-U Lan Hnyun(n guide to Mrauk-U) in 1988. Acted also as Chairman of the Compilation Committee of Rakiiine State Gazetteer comprising (5) volumes (unpublished).

THE GOLDEN MRAUK-U , An Ancient Capital of Rakhine

U Shwe Zan

Second Edition
1997

Mrauk-U is an ornament of the Rakbine culture. Its name suggests the fulfilment of endeavours. Between 1430 AD and 1785 AD it was the last capital of the powerful Rakhine kings where Rakhine culture had
its full bloom.

The golden days of Mrauk-U city, those of 16th and 17th centuries, were contemporary to the days of Tudor kings, the Moghuls, the Ayuthiya kings and Inwa, Taungoo and Hanthawaddy kings of Myanmar.

Mrauk-U was cosmopolitan city, fortified by a 30-kilometer long fortification and an intricate net of moats, and canals. At the centre of the city was the Royal Palace, looming high over the surrounding area like an Asian Acropolis. Waterways formed by canals and creeks earned the fame of distinct resemblance to Venice.

Mrauk-U offers some of the richest archaeological sites in South-East Asia. While Bagan is considered as the city ofpagodas,Mrauk-U, the last stronghold of the Mrauk.-U kings could be truly considered as the fortress city in Myanmar.

Mrauk-U’s rich heritage is evidenced by many magnificent monuments and pagodas as the massive Sbitethaung that houses a rich array of Lord Buddha’s previous lives and also the figurines of Rakhine culture of that period. The colossal Htukkant Thein, an ordination hall with several images exhibiting clothing popular in the 16th century, richly decorated central pillar of Anndaw Thein, auspicious Lemyathna Pagoda, coloured plaque Laung-bwannbrauk Pagoda, conical structures of victory pagodas

Mrauk-U is an ornament of the Rakbine culture. Its name suggests the fulfilment of endeavours. Between 1430 AD and 1785 AD it was the last capital of the powerful Rakhine kings where Rakhine culture had its full bloom.

The golden days of Mrauk-U city, those of 16th and 17th centuries, were contemporary to the days of Tudor kings, the Moghuls, the Ayuthiya kings and Inwa, Taungoo and Hanthawaddy kings of Myanmar.

Mrauk-U was cosmopolitan city, fortified by a 30-kilometer long fortification and an intricate net of moats, and canals. At the centre of the city was the Royal Palace, looming high over the surrounding area like an Asian Acropolis. Waterways formed by canals and creeks earned the fame of distinct resemblance to Venice.

Mrauk-U offers some of the richest archaeological sites in South-East Asia. While Bagan is considered as the city of pagodas,Mrauk-U, the last stronghold of the Mrauk.-U kings could be truly considered as the fortress city in Myanmar.

Mrauk-U’s rich heritage is evidenced by many magnificent monuments and pagodas as the massive Sbitethaung that houses a rich array of Lord Buddha’s previous lives and also the figurines of Rakhine culture of that period. The colossal Htukkant Thein, an ordination hall with several images exhibiting clothing popular in the 16th century, richly decorated central pillar of Anndaw Thein, auspicious Lemyathna Pagoda, coloured plaque Laung-bwannbrauk
Pagoda, conical structures of victory pagodas

Inscribe this cultural and historical book to my late parents-U Tha Zan Oo (Retired District and Sessions Judge) and Daw Ma Bu, and to my late elder brother Professor U San Tha Aung (former Director-General of Higher Education Department) in token of personal regard and of my sincere admiration for his learning and his works.

Read MORE <>> THE GOLDEN MRAUK-U , An Ancient Capital of Rakhine by U Shwe Zan

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Buraoat Pagoda

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

Buraoat pagoda is situated on the hill which is 50 feet high and half a mile away from the palace site. As the country was in chaos, after Htoakkanthein pagoda had been built, king Min Pha Laung built Buraoat pagoda as a monument in AD 1571 in order not to disintegrate the country. After the upper part of the pagoda had already ruined, one terrace only remained.
The terrace has twenty nine small caves nad twenty nine Buddha images dwelled in those caves. The stone Buddha image which is 13 feet high, is on the lotus throne inside the chamber at the eastern entrance. .

Bawdishwegu Pagoda

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

bawdishwegu pagoda

Bawdishwegu pagoda is situated on the spur of Haymawan hill in the eastern part of Linpanpyauk pagoda. The pagoda was built by king Ba Saw Phyu in AD 1470.

The base of the pagoda is octagonal in shape and the pagoda looks like a truncated pagoda. There are god figures associated with the planets at the corners of the pagoda. The pagoda is 30 feet high and 106 feet in circumference. The whole pagoda was made of blocks of stone. There is a cave opening in the east to enter the pagoda. Two hundred and eighty stone sculptures were sculpted in six classes on the walls of the entrance way to the cave. The figures based on 550 Zataka stories, were carved fully in both sides of the entrance way to the cave. The figure of the king who goes around the city, clothing styles of the ministers, the clothing styles of the general and the decorations of the elephant and the horse, were carved in detail. The small Buddha images are over those figures. The stone Buddha image which is 6 feet high, is in the perfumed chamber inside the cave. The thone was sculpted from the single stone and it was decorated with festoons.

Making the stone in the form of the lotus flower at the center of the roof of the perfumed chamber, is glorious.

Andawthein Pagoda

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

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Andawthein pagoda stands 100 feet away from the northern part of Chitthaung pagoda. The pagoda and the prayer hall are fenced with the wall which is made of brick. The hillock on which the pagoda stands, is the spur of Phoekhaung mountain and it is eight feet high.

Before Andawthein was built, king Min Hla Ra Zar Saw Mon, the twelfth king of Mraukoo dynasty, built the prayer hall and Buddha image at the present place of Andawthein in AD 1521. By the time king Min Bar was the governor of Thandwe, the monks from Rakhine had to go to Srilanka for the missionary work because Theravada Buddhism was on decline in Srilanka. The mission of Samgha was led by Ashin Tay Zar Ra Tha from Thandwe and Ashin Dha Ma Vi La Tha from Mraukoo. When they got back from Srilanka. Ashin Tay Zar Ra Tha gave the molar relic of Buddha to Ba Saw Yee, the governor of Thandwe. The crown prince Ba Saw Yee built a pagoda enshrining the molar relic of Buddha in it on Warthura mountain of Thandwe near the present Andaw pagoda. When Ba Saw Yee became a king with the name of Min Bar, he brought back the molar relic from Andawthein pagoda of Thandwe, but he put the replica molar relic in the place of it. He worshipped the molar relic he took from Thandwe by putting in the golden salver at the funeral chamber in the east of the palace.

After king Min Bar had passed away, king Min Ra Zar Gyi, the grandson of king Min Bar, built the present pagoda enshrining the molar relic of Buddha in AD 1596. The pagoda is called Andawthein pagoda because the molar relic of Buddha was enshrined in it.

The pagoda including the prayer hall measures 228 feet in length and 145 feet in breadth. The pagoda is 42 feet high from the plinth of the pagoda to the top of the pagoda. The pagoda was erected at the denter of the hillock and it is octagonal in shape and each of the facades of the pagoda is 27 feed wide. The big octagonal pagoda is surrounded by eight small pagodas on the roof of the cave tunnel. That pagoda is enclosed by fifteen small pagodas. The prayer hall is in front of the pagoda. It is enclosed with the stone walls. The east, the south and the north of the pagoda have the opening gates to enter the prayer hall. By entering the southern opening gate, one can see six standing stone Buddha images in the caves by the wall of Andawthein pagoda. By observing from the south to the north consecutively, one can find the first standing Buddha image in the form of Abaya mudra which implies, “Don’t worry, my dear. The people for those who practise and listen to the teaching of Buddha, will be free from the danger.” The second standing Buddha image is the form of Dhammasakkya mudra. The Buddha image whose left hand middle finger touches the middle finger of the right hand and it implies that Buddha is exponding the first discourse known as Dhammacakka and guiding the middle path.

At the third standing Buddha image, the Buddha whose right hand palm is put on the left hand palm and enjoyed the blissful peace of Phalasamapatti, is called Zarnamudra. There are two cave tunnels inside Andawthein pagoda. One hundred and seventy five stone Buddha images with different sizes, are dwelling at the wall of the pagoda in the respective caves.

To enter the inner tunnel from the outer tunnel, four directions have their own porches. Those porches were built individually in the arch roof system. The inner facades of the porches have decorations like a throne. There are eight Buddha images facting eight directions at the center of the inner cave tunnel. The upper portions of those Buddha images don’t have any robes. Some historians point out that the thin yellow robes were worn for the Buddha images to see the convex chest which is one of 32 lucky marks on the man.

Every neck of the Buddha images contains three lines. It is believed that those three lines are a demonstration of wearing the yellow robes. Some historians assume that the yellow robes were not draped on the upper portions of the Buddha images in order to donate the cotton robes occasionally by weaving for good deeds. Among the Buddha images inside the cave tunnel, both of the two Buddha images at the entrances of the eastern and the northern porches, are unusual. The whole bodies of those Buddha images were draped with yellow robes and fastened the chests with the slings not to fly the edges of their robes when they go around in the sky with their supernatural power called Jhana. Arakanese call such Buddha images Zanthine.

The Buddha images sculpted in Laymyo period, contain Zanthine because a lot of Arahats existed in the period. Eighty years ago, a muslim burgled the relinquary and he ran away throwing the things he took since a crowd of people followed him. When the people looked for those, they found the castet in the pineapple plantation. No sooner had the township officer taken away he casket to keep it than he opened it. After opening the casket, he got the molar relic of Buddha and the diamond Buddha image. The molar relic of Buddha was kept in the Chinese temple so that the people could worship it. By moving it from place to place to be worshipped, at last, the molar relic of Buddha was kept in Bandoola monastery in Mraukoo.

Nandaw Pagoda

Posted: March 27, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

nandaw pagoda

The pagoda lies on Nandaw mountain which is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile far away from the north of Thandwe. This pagoda is also a prophetic pagoda of lord Buddha.

The lord Buddha prophesied Anan Da, “Dear Anan Da, the pagoda will be called Nandaw pagoda enshrining my rib relic after I had attained Parinibbanna since I had ever been a king of partridge in a previous life of mine.”

The governor Min Pyar of the city of Dawrawaddy built the pagoda in 763 AD in accordance with Buddha’s prophecy. Rakhine successive kings: king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma, renovated the pagoda in 1323 AD. 1626 AD and 1676 AD respectively. Townspeople of Thandwe renovated it twice in 1849 AD and 1878 AD respectively.

The original height of the pagoda is 6 feet, but the pagoda was encased by the donors, therefore, in the present, it measures 40 feet high and 110 feet in circumference. The pagoda is octagonal in shape at the base and the upper part of the pagoda is conical. The pagoda has the same shape with Andaw and Sandaw Pagodas in relation to Buddhs’s prophecy.

Andaw Pagoda

Posted: March 27, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

While Buddha was resting on the top of Tanttawmu mountain, he prophesied, “Dear Anan Da, I had ever been the kings of human beings and the kings of animals many times in my previous lives in the city of Dawrawaddy. Among them, I had ever been a king of rattlesnake in a previous live of mine in Pathura mountain where is in the north-east of this mountain I stand, therefore, the pagoda called Andaw, will be built enshrining my molar relic after I had attained Parinibbanna.”

This pagoda is situated on the top of Andaw mountain where is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile far from Thandwe. The governor Za Choke of the city of Dawrawaddy, built the pagoda enshrining the molar relic in 762 AD according to Buddha’s porphecy. Rakhine successive kings such as king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma, renovated it. The residents of Thandwe and Andaw villagers renovated the pagoda again in 1870 AD.

The form of Andaw pagoda is octagonal in shape at the base. The pagoda measures 46 feet high and 244 feet in circumference. The upper part of the bell-shaped deom is conical. The whole pagoda doesn’t have any decorations and the pagoda court is also narrow. There is the small bell in the north-east of the pagoda court and the stone slab which is 15 feet in circumference, is at the eastern cliff of the mountain outside the pagoda court. That stone slab is a part of the umbrella of the ancient pagoda. The square-formed hole was made at the centre of the stone slab. Each side of the hole in the form of square, is 2 feet 2 inches in length. The square-formed hole of the stone slab, was used for the inner central pillar of the pagoda.

There is a prayer hall at the base of the mountain. The Buddha image which is made of bricks and cement, is dwelling in the prayer hall. U Shwe Bu, the lieutenant general of Myanmar force, built the prayer hall in the peace of the ancient religious edifice in the early 19th century. The design of the prayer hall is strange because the design of the common Buddhist building and the design of the islamic mosque, are mixed up. The prayer hall is called Pharahla. There is a corridor to enter the hall in the form of square, and the ceiling was made in the form of dome.

Sandaw Pagoda

Posted: March 27, 2010 in Famous Pagodas

sandaw pagoda

The pagoda is located on the steep mountain which is in the left river bank of Thandwe river and one mile fur from Thandwe. This pagoda is also a prophetic pagoda of Buddha. Buddha prophesied Anan Da, “Dear Anan Da, the pagoda called Sandaw will be built enshrining my hair relic after I had gained Parinibbanna as I had ever been a king of the bird of paradise in Manikaytha mountain in a previous life of mine.”

The governor Min Nyo Khin of the city of Dawrawaddy built the pagoda in AD 784 according to Buddha’s prophecy. Rakhine successive kings such as king Maha Soe, king Ra Zar Gyi and king San Da Thu Dham Ma renovated it. The residents of Thandwe renovated it again in 1849 AD and 1876 AD respectively. The form of the pagoda is octagonal in shape. It measures 65 feet in height and 180 feet in circumference at the base. The upper part of the bell-shaped dome, is conical and there are no decorations, caves and porches. The pagoda court is enclosed with the octagonal-shaped wall. There are three entrances around the wall, but only one entrance has the brick stairway. The brick stairway provides an access to the pagoda from the base of the mountain. It has 204 steps and the balustrade of the stairway is 3 feet high. The small bell is in the north-east of the pagoda. The contemporary religious buildings are occupying the base of the mountain. Among them, the distinctive building is the building in the form of the cave cemetery of the Mohanmedan. The inner room is square, and the roof and the ceiling are spherical.