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Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay

Kuthodaw Pagoda Overview

This Buddhist stupa is situated at Mandalay and is generally called as Mahalawka Marazein. It was built during the reign of King Mindon that lies in the foot of Mandalay Hills. It holds world’s largest book, which contains 729 marbles caves with both sides of engraved stones taken from Tipitaka text.

Royal Merit

In 1857, Mindon Min built the pagoda as a section of the traditional foundations at the new royal city of Mandalay. He wanted to leave a prominent work of merit by engraving Tipitaka set on stones that is meant to last for five millennia. Its construction was started in 1860 and its crown was mounted on 19 July 1862. On 4 May 1868, it was opened for the public. The main entrance is beautifully carved with floral designs, scrolls and Deva Nats. Moreover, there is an old tree and is believed to be 250 years old which is in the southwest inner terrace.

Annexation and desecration

In 1885, British added the Mandalay after which it became the Fort Dufferin and troops were accommodated all around Mandalay Hill, temples and pagodas. Due to which Burmese are not allowed to visit their religious places. In 1890, Queen Victoria ordered all her troops to withdraw from the religious precincts. However, Pagoda had been looted and bricks had been utilized to build a road for the troops.

Restoration

In 1892, restoration work had been started with the help and donations from the original donor and public. Gold letters were replaced by blank ink due to which it becomes easier to read. Sir Po Tha who was the rice trader of Rangoon repaired and reglided the Pagoda in 1913. After that many other materials were included in this place like carved wooden panels which was destroyed by the soldiers, the west gate by Zat Mintha, north and east gates by the children and grandchildren of King Mindon.

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