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Mingun Pahtodawgyi - beautiful and mysterious ruins in Myanmar

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Myanmar Travel Guide

Go to Mingun town to visit Pahtodawgyi stupa

Myanmar is a Buddhist country with many beautiful and attractive destinations, especially spiritual architectural works. Today, in the town of Mingun, the extremely beautiful and majestic Mingun Pahtodawgy stupa still exists. Although it is a ruin, this has become a very attractive location in Mandalay city.

On your upcoming trip to Myanmar, you can plan to visit Mandalay, located in the Northwest Central region of this country. Here is the town of Mingun, only 10 km from the center of Mandalay, which is home to a stupa that was once expected to be the largest in the world.

Pahtodawgyi is a stupa that possesses a prime location right on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, bearing the mark of ancient architecture and extremely majestic scale. This destination has a quiet, contemplative beauty in the peaceful town of Mingun Myanmar, not too affected by urbanized life.

Read moreMyanmar - Explore the land of Buddha

The historical story of Pahtodawgyi stupa

Myanmar is a country with many Buddhist temples, pagodas, and stupas with beautiful architecture, representing a prosperous religion in Southeast Asia. Besides the famous pagodas such as Shwedagon, Chauk Htat Gyi, Shwemawdaw,..., Pahtodawgyi stupa is also an extremely special project.

Going back in time to the late 18th century, in 1790 King Bodawpaya built this stupa with the goal of becoming the largest stupa in the world. Previously, the king received the Buddha tooth relic - a gift given by the visiting Chinese delegation. Therefore, King Bodawpaya built a stupa to store it.

King Bodawpaya wanted to build a large-scale project in the country and in the world at that time. According to the original plan, the stupa could be up to 150 meters high, standing tall next to the romantic Irrawaddy River.

To build this project, the king forced thousands of slaves and prisoners of war to work continuously for 7 years. It was around this time that the stupa reached 1/3 of its original plan, reaching 50 meters high. However, this construction took a lot of human and material resources, making the people and workers dissatisfied.

To prevent this construction from continuing, the people invented a prophecy that the kingdom would end when the construction was completed. Being a superstitious person, King Bodawpaya ordered it to stop. From there, the ruins of Mingun Pahtodawgyi were formed that exist to this day.

Besides, many historians believe that lack of labor, lack of funding and technical difficulties could also be the reasons why the project could not continue. When the king died in 1819, this work stopped indefinitely and his successors also abandoned the stupa.

The beauty of Mingun Pahtodawgyi stupa

Although the dream of turning Pahtodawgyi into the world's largest stupa was shattered, today it is still a destination in Myanmar that possesses beautiful architecture. The current ruins are still very majestic with a height of 50 meters, a width of 70 meters and appear like a castle with red bricks eroded by time.

The central part of the stupa faces straight to the riverbank with the entrance gate designed with sophisticated lines, imbued with Buddhist culture. Inside the entrance is a small temple worshiping Buddha statues. In addition, in front of the tower there are two giant lion statues guarding the temple that were broken by an earthquake.

Mingun Pahtodawgyi Stupa, although unfinished, still contains a mysterious beauty as well as splendor and grandeur in visitors' check-in photos. Here, you can take time to admire each intricate detail, watch the color of the bricks fade over the years and take some commemorative photos.

Centuries have passed, Mingun Pahtodawgyi became a historical witness, witnessing many events of Mandalay city. The most special are the earthquakes that took place in 1838 and 2012. These two earthquakes caused many giant cracks to appear on the stupa. However, currently, the building still stands tall and shows no signs of collapse.

Visiting the Mingun Pahtodawgyi stupa, visitors also have the opportunity to admire the giant bronze bell located not far away. This bell weighs up to 90 tons and has been preserved intact over time. In the past, King Bodawpaya hoped to place this bell in the Pahtodawgyi stupa when the project was completed.

Note when traveling to Mingun town

Mingun town - where Pahtodawgyi ruins are preserved, is an ancient village with long-standing cultural and historical values. Coming here, visitors feel like going back in time to the past, entering the world of beautiful and impressive Buddhist works.

Today, this ancient village has become a destination in Myanmar that is very popular with tourists, as well as a famous tourist destination. Visiting the village, you will have the opportunity to take many beautiful photos of the Pahtodawgyi stupa and many other beautiful temples in this place.

After exploring the stupa, if you have time, continue to explore the Hsinbyume white pagoda. This is also a work that possesses beautiful architecture with 7 layers of wavy corridors surrounding the pagoda, symbolic of the 7 surrounding mountains. Surely your trip will bring back countless beautiful and impressive photos.

It can be said that although the Mingun Pahtodawgyi stupa cannot be built to become the largest stupa in the world, it is still a valuable cultural and spiritual destination in Mandalay city in particular and Myanmar in general. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to come to the country of thousands of pagodas, remember to come here once to admire this great and beautiful work.