Around Mrauk U

Andaw Pagoda.

The Andaw Pagoda of Mrauk U means the Pagoda enshrining the tooth-relic of Buddha. The pagoda is located about 86 feet from the Shittaung Pagoda in the north-east direction. Min Hla Raza was the original builder of this pagoda in 1521 A.D. Due to some damaged parts, the King of Mrauk U, Minrazagyi reconstructed this pagoda in 1596 A.D. The central tower of the shrine contains the tooth-relic of Buddha. It was originally obtained from Sri Lanka by King Minbin (1534-1542 A.D.)
Structure
The shrine is an octagonal structure of pure sandstone, with two internal concentric passagees. Fifteen small circular pagodas, built of bricks stand on the platforms of south, north and west of the shrine. On the east, there is a prayer hall, which has an entrance each on the east, north, and south sides. A stonewall divides the prayer hall from the outer court. The east facade of the shrine measures 31 feet from north to south and is only 14 feet high from the ground to the roof. On each side of the entrance are three niches which get into the wall, 6′ high, 1′ 2″ deep, and 2′ wide, and these contain stone images of Buddha. Passing through the vaulted passage a gallery opens on either side. Each is 3′ 7″ wide and 9′ high.The gallery runs in an octagonal shape around the central chamber; each of the outer sides of the passage measures 20′ and each contains a row of four niches with a semicircular arch 2′ above the ground, and a second row of smaller niches at the height of 7, four to each side, and the niches hold stone images of Buddha. From the inner side of the gallery a vaulted passage leads from north, south, east, and west to the inner chamber, which is also octagonal in shape. At the center stands an eight-cornered stone pillar 40′ in circumference. It supports the roof.Neither light nor air can penetrate into the shrine except through the front entrance. The roof is about ten feet thick. Over each of the eight corners of the shrine stands a smaller pagoda. At the center, there stands a large pagoda.Andaw Pagoda was wholly constructed with stone blocks stands on a small square-shaped hillock. This hillock includes the shrine and pagoda, measures 228 feet from east to west and 145 feet from north to south and 42 feet in height from ground to top.

 

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Dukkanthein.

(Dukkhanthein) Temple (Cross-Beam Ordination Hall) is another famous temple in Mrauk U. Although it is a ‘thein‘ (Ordination Hall), it is one of the most militaristic buildings in Mrauk U – built on raised ground, with a single entrance and small windows. Built in 1571 by King Ming Phalaung, the building was thought to have been used as refuge for Buddhis religious order during the time of civil unrest.

 

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Lawka Man Aung Pagoda.

Lawka Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Man” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”.
The architecture of this pagoda is in the form of four steps. The base step is a square shape with four statues at each corner. From the second to the topmost step, there are small pagodas at each corner. Inside the pagoda, there is a 12 feet high Buddha image made of stone.In A.D 1676, King Oakka Balar became a monk in this pagoda’s compound and at such a time, was also called Lawkamu Pagoda. This pagoda was also built by Candathudhammaraza (1652¬-1674 A.D) in 1658 A.D. It stands on a flat ground. The shrine was constructed with stone blocks, well hewn and ce¬mented. It is square at the base, each side measuring 74 feet; the first four tiers are also square; in the center of each side of the tiers stands a porch containing an image of the Buddha. The sides of the porch are made of stone slabs; the architectural design is similar to that of the Laungbanpyauk Pagoda. There are traces of ornamental designs on the face of the porches. A guinea pig guards each corner of the lowest tier.On each corner of the first four tiers stands a small circular pagoda, solid and without niches. From the garbha upward the central spire is circular; the apex is crowned with an iron hti (umbrella) once gilded and still in good order. The east facade of the pagoda has a portal 20′ high, protruding 2′ from the main wall, a vaulted passage 4′ 8″ wide, 16′ high, and 29′ long leads to a chamber in the center of the pagoda. It contains a stone image of the Buddha 12 feet high, sitting cross-legged on a stone alter. The ceiling is a hemispherical dome and the apex is 16 feet above ground.

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Lemyathnar Pagoda .

About a distance of 150 feet to the northwest of the Dukkhanthein Pagoda is the Laymyetnha Pagoda or “the four-faced pagoda”. King Minsawmon, the first king of Mrauk-U Dynasty, built it in 1430 A.D. It is one of the five pagodas built at the beginning of the establishment of the city. It is a square structure, with a long protruding portal towards each cardinal point. The interior room is octagonal. In the center of the latter there is an octahedral column intended to support the circular tower erected over the center of the roof. Over each of the four corners of the terrace a smaller circular stupa was built. Each side of the square of the shrine measures 55′; the portals are 13′ broad and protrude 17′ into the platform.
The central tower is circular and has the shape of a dome, with a circumference of 80 feet at the base and is 70 feet high. There are 28 Buddha images as mentioned in the Sambuddha scripture.

 

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Mrauk U Museum.

A new Mrauk U museum is located near the palace site. It displays some old artifacts of Vesali, Launggret and Mrauk U periods. The bronze Buddha icons of Rakhine are equisetic in design. Various inscribed stone inscriptions in Sanskrit, Rakhine and Arabic are also displayed Votive tablets, Krishna Vishnu, Bodhisattvas, dvarapala, stone htis (stone umbrella of pagodas), lintels coins, musical instruments, ceramic-wares are also on display.Mrauk U is an ancient city in the Rakhine State, which is situated in the western part of the Union of Myanmar. Mrauk-U is also a place where cultural heritages have flourished for many years. The Rakhine State is close to the Bay of Bengal and the coastal region is full of rocks and reefs and may be that is why so many stone-sculptures can be seen as ancient cultural crafts in the Rakhine region.The state opened the Archaeological Museum in Mrauk U; so that everyone interested in the cultural artifacts and ancient relics are find then in one place. In the Museum, a stone Wunti God Image of 15th century A.D in Mrauk U period and a part of stone pillars from Stupas of 8th century in Watha Li period are shown.Moreover, the pieces of a stone Vishnu Image of 15th century in Mrauk U period can also be seen at the Museum. The Wetha Li coins from 4th to 8th century, the votive tablets and the motifs of stone-sculptures from Mrauk U period can also be seen at the museum. The household appliances in Mrauk U period, a glazed pot of 15th century from Mrauk U period and the glazed floor tiles from Mrauk U palace excavation site are also exhibited.You can also find stone-sculptures such as God of Earth, Godness, Wathoundarei and Wathoundara at the museum. There is a replica of Ananda Sandra stone inscription carved in Danyawaddy alphabets from the 8th century. The inscription tells us about Watha Li King Ananda Sandra and his ancestors with 65 verses.Moreover, the stone inscription of Purain Ah Song-Taung (AD-1430), Wara-Dhamma-Yar-Zar stone inscription (AD-1618) and An-Taw-Thein stone inscription (AD-1596) are also there to be studied. So, we invite you to pay a visit to “Mrauk-U Archaeological Museum” where all ancient cultural heritages and stone-sculptures in Rakhine State are shown in one place.

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Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda.

Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Man” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”.Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda was donated by the son of King Sanda Thudhamma Raza, known as King Oakkalapa. Built in A.D 1685. Some facts say that the Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda was erected by King Narapatigyi.The pagoda is built by stones instead of bricks. The pagoda is guarded with walls in a square shape. Each side of the wall has an entry gate with a leading path to the pagoda. There are 8 surrounding small pagodas. There are stone Buddha statues inside the small pagodas. There are lots of architectural remains of Mrauk U time.Going through the forest path on the east side of the pagoda will lead to a ruined place of a princess’s palace. At ancient times, the Rakhine Kings did not let their sons and daughters live in the palace and they were to live outside the palace.On the south side of the pagoda are four stone slabs one side of which is covered with Rakhine Inscriptions. But one of the slab is badly damaged. The inscription says that King Candavizaya, the 34th King of Mrauk U erected the stone slabs. He was the great-great-grandson of Narapatigyi.

 

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Shittaung Pagoda .

Shitthaung or “temple of the 80,000 Buddhas” located about half a mile to the north of the palace site was built by one of the most powerful kings of the Mrauk U Dynasty, called by the people, Minbargyi. It is an ancient temple, in Mrauk U of northern Rakhine state, Myanmar. History According to records on inscriptions as King Minbin who reigned from 1513 to 1553. The king built this fortress-temple after repulsing a Portuguese attack on the City of Mrauk U. The skill and art displayed in its construction and ornamentation are remarkable. Besides, we may observe here about the maze-like layout of this pagoda. In the accounts of this curious plan, some foreigners remarked that the Shitthaung Pagoda was built alike a fortress. The real purpose of the pagoda was for prayer, some rituals of initiation, and some of the King’s ceremonies, which were usually held secretly. It was constructed six feet thick of solid sandstone and like “rock cave tunnel”. No mortar was used in the construction and stones were connected with stone brackets. It is believed that 84,000 of the Buddha’s relics with the same number of the Lord’s images are enshrined in it. People who entered the tunnels of the temple felt that they were actually inside an endless tunnel. The pagodas had been built by one thousand architects and workmen for a year.The central pagoda measures 160 feet long and 124 feet broad, 86 feet high. On the north and south walls stand at regular intervals circular, turret-like pagodas. There are one big and 14 smaller ones on the north and a bigger one and seventeen smaller ones on the south. Along the other two inner galleries are hundreds of Buddha images of various sizes.

 

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Shwedaung Pagoda .

The Shwe Daung Pagoda or the “Golden Hill Pagoda” is also believed to have been built by King Minbin between the years 1531-1553. It is a landmark pagoda as it is the tallest in this area and can be seen as far away as 20 miles from the main Kaladan River. The hill itself is 250 feet high and is about half a mile to the south-east of the Palace Site.The pagoda is a circular form base to the top and has a common design. It is a solid stupa with a circular base. During the First Anglo-Burmese War, 1824-26, the Myanmar forces built earthen fortifications on this hill and mounted guns which inflicted heavy losses on the British forces. Some of these fortifications can still be seen today.

 

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Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda.

The Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda in A.D 1629. It is located in the south of Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda.This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung.In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”. The pagoda was named after the Sakkyar dynasty. There are two statues of Orges guarding the pagoda. The sculptural arts of these two images are of rare artists. Also there are two statues of Nats, paying respect to Buddha.The architecture of the pagoda is in the form of lotus flower. There are 12 small pagodas surrounding the main Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda. The dimension of the Pagoda is 240 feet and the height is about 114 feet.The plan of the base of the pagoda is peculiar. The pagoda was built with stones instead of bricks. The base consist of 8 braces joined to form an irregular octagon. From the first tier upward the structure is octagonal, the sides over the four main braces form a straight line, and the intermediate braces are in the zigzag design forms. The western gate of the pagoda is guarded by two large kneeling orgres.

 

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Sanda Muni Buddha.

Sanda Muni Buddha Image is now located in Bandoola Monastery, of Mrauk U. During A.D 123, Gautama Buddha came to Mrauk U and from that time on, people started to believe in Buddhism and had beliefs in worshipping Buddha images and Pagodas.History A long time ago, King Sanda Thuriya reigned the Rakhine territory. When Gautama Buddha came to Mrauk U, the king begged for making of images as a symbol representing the real Buddha.So, he made 4 Muni Buddha images which are
(1) Maha Myat Muni (located at Mandalay)
(2) Shwebonthar Muni (located at Pyay)
(3) Zalun Pyaydawpyan (located at Zalun)
(4) Maha Muni (located at Sittwe).
There were more jewelleries and gold left, so he made 5 more images known as (1) Sanda Muni (2) Kuja Muni (3) Sakkyar Muni (4) Deva Muni and (5) Sula Muni. These five images are also known as Maha Kyan Images. The Maha Muni was surrounded by these 5 images.During the reign of King Saw Mon, he moved to Mrauk U as the capital. He took the Sanda Muni image along with him to Mrauk U. In 1852, lower Myanmar fell under the rulings of the British colony. The British took all the bronze images to melt and turn these into weapons. Since the people wear afraid that the Sanda Muni might be turned into weapons, they covered the image with concrete and left in the Bandoola Monastery. The British thought that this image was made of concrete and left it where it was.It was April 27, 1988, Sunday. Sayadaw Ashin Sattkapalar was cleaning the floor in front of the image and suddenly an eye dropped down. The monk saw that the inner part was not made of concrete but of bronze metal.So in May 19, 1988, the covered concrete of the Image was torn down and the real Sanda Muni Buddha Image was shown to public. The size of the image is 4 feet 10 inches high and 4 feet and 2 inches in width. This Buddha image became more and more popular with the locals.

 

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Zina Man Aung Pagoda.

Zina Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Mann” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zina Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”.Zina Man Aung Pagoda is located on top of the Pandein Taung hill. It is situated on the south side of the old palace ruins. The structure of the pagoda is octagonal in shape. At the base, there is a mouse with two bodies and a head. On the higher level, there are two more mice.This pagoda was built and donated by King Sanda Thuddhamma during A.D 1652. The king first built the stupa at the south side of this pagoda. That one seemed to be small and he again built another larger one and named Zina Man Aung Pagoda

 

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Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda .

Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Man” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung, Zeenat Man Aung, Sakkya Man Aung, Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”.Located on the east side of Yadanarpon Pagoda, about half a mile. The pagoda is octagonal in shape. It was built in A.D. 1652.The pagoda was built in the intention of respecting the Three Gems: Three Ratana of Buddhism. Myanmar Buddhists believe that the followings are the 3 invaluable gems in life.For those 3 gems, wars were fought in our history.
(1) Buddha : the enlighten one
(2) Dhamma : the teachings
(3) Sangha : the follower monks.
The height of the pagoda is 180 feet, and the width is 54 feet. At the north-west corner of the pagoda, there is a white cave with a length of 54 feet, width of 13 feet and 10 feet in height.During the Mrauk U reign, there were archeries competitions, elephant competitions and horse competitions in the north side of the pagoda.

 

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Pitakataik .

Pitakataik which lies close to Htupayon Pagoda and south of Shinkite wall was built by King Min Phalaung. It was square in plan with an entrance passage to the east like others pagoda in Mrauk U. Built entirely with stone, the outer walls are decorated with ornate floral and geometric design. It is said that there were 33 Pitakataiks, built in Mrauk U. The little library or Pitakataik, the Repository for the Buddhist scriptures was built in 1591 also by king Min Phalaung.

Structure

The Pitakataik measures only 14 feet from east to west, 10 feet from north to south and is only 9 feet in height. Built entirely of stone there are lovely designs on the outer walls making it look like a tiny jeweled casket shaped like a blooming lotus. There were 48 libraries in Mrauk U but only this one is preserved, though it is sometimes obscured by thickets of bushes and partly covered by moss and weeds which flourish in the 200″ of annual rainfall in the region. This library is reputed to have housed 30 sets of the Buddhist Tipitaka which King Narapatigyi (1638-1645) received from Sri Lanka.Unfortunately it acquired an unpleasant appellation due to its dark windowless interior. The library is also known as Khraung Kaik Library meaning the name of the city wall which is close to the north of the library. If you have difficulty in finding this library ask for the Htupayon Pagoda as it is just north of this pagoda.

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Yadanar Pon Pagoda .

Yadanar Pon Pagoda was built in A.D 1612, and was donated by King Min Khamaung and Queen Shin Htwe. The pagoda is located on the northern part of Andaw Thein. There are lots of architectural remaining of Mrauk U time.There are seventeen smaller pagodas around the main pagoda. Each one was donated by Kings, Queens and other royal families of Mrauk U Dynasty. Those smaller pagodas are called as Ayan Zedi in Myanmar, meaning the surrounding stupas. Those seventeen Ayan Zedi (meaning surrounding stupas) were also donated by King Min Khamaung and Queen Shin Htwe in A.D 1612.The main pagoda is circular at the base and measure a height of 200 feet. The pagoda was destroyed during the World War II and now has been renovated based on the original structure. The main pagoda and its surround smaller pagodas do not have any entrance, niches, arches nor any ornamentation. The main pagoda resembles the shape of a huge bell. The whole structure is enclosed within an octagonal border. The entrance of the wall consist of stone lions guarding the pagodas. No floral decoration of any kind can be found on this pagoda.Traditionally, it is believed that the pagoda was built for the purpose of acquiring or securingtreasures, both mundane and spiritual.

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Laungbanpyauk.

The Laungbanpyauk Pagoda stands at a distance of 500 feet to the Mokseiktaw. Minkhaungraza built the pagoda in 1525 A.D. Two walls surround it. The outer surface of the inner wall is decorated with fine designs and is formed by stones projecting an inch out of the wall; at the center of each is a rosette, containing eight colored clay tablets of red, yellow, blue, and green alternately, with a white center. The diameter of the ornament is 1′ 8″. An opening in the east and one from the west lead to a platform raised about 6 feet above the level of surrounding ground. The massive stone pagoda at the center is an octagonal pyramid; each side measures at the base 33 feet and rises in ever-receding tiers to a height of about 120 feet (at present only 75 feet remains.).On the first tier, at the middle of each of the eight sides, originally-stood a porch consisting of two square pillars forming the sides of the porch. Each niche contains an image of the Buddha. The outer surface of the appendage displays an exquisite pattern of carving in stone. The design is so fine and outstanding that well-known architects have recorded it in detail.

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Koethaung Pagoda.

Koe-thaung Pagoda (Ninety Thousands Pagodas) is another magnificent temple of Mrauk U. Built by King Mintaikkha in 1553, it is the largest structure in Mrauk U. The upper structure has already disappeared now, but the lower structure still stands. It is very similar to the Shitthaung Pagoda. According to history, the pagoda was built in six months time due the the advice from the royal astrologers as yadayar. As a result, it was inferior in quality compared to other pagodas of Mrauk U.

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The Please Site.

Bengal was an ancient ingdom that the 2nd century Greek cartographer Ptolemy referred to in his writings as Argyre. A list of kings carved in stone found on the site indicates that it flourished as early as the 6th century BC.Separated from the rest of Myanmar by a range of high mountains and thick jungles, Rakhine State retains its unique traditions. Visitors must come through Sittwe, a busy seaport that has traditional houses along the waterfront. There are monasteries with a mix of European and traditional architecture, and the fish market is a lively place full of men hauling nets and women selling the catch of the day and fresh vegetables.The ruined city of Mrauk Oo, dating back to the 15th century, is reached by a five-hour boat ride from Sittwe along the Kaladan River. The river meanders through farmland, passing fishing villages and sailing junks, and sometimes through flocks of migratory wild birds.

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Pagodas Around Mrauk U..

The Myatanzaung Pagodas.
The Myatanzaung Pagodas lie to the north of Laymyetnha Pagoda at a distance of 500 feet. There are two pagodas named Eastern Myatanzaung and Western Myatanzaung. These pagodas are situated on a hillock, 40 feet high. The main structures of these pagodas are constructed of blocks of pure sandstone. But turrets, staircases and walls were built of bricks.Minsawmon, the King of Mrauk-U Dynasty, erected these pagodas in 1430 A.D. These two are of the sam