It is a Buddhist temple and a major pilgrimage site. It is highly revered in Burma, which plays a major role in many people’s lives, as it is seen as a representative to Buddha’s life.
According to myth, during his travels on Proselytization mission, Gautama Buddha visited Dhanyawadi. He was paid homage at Salagiri mountain peak by the king of Arakan along with his chief queen, ministers, officials and generals. On king’s insistence, Buddha agreed to leave his image for the people to worship. After the completion of lookalike statue, Buddha states that the image will lasts for 5 thousand years as his representative. Many legends have different interesting stories to narrate. In 1879 and 1884, during the rule of King Thibaw, the image of Mahamuni suffered a huge damage from fires.
The image of Mahamuni Buddha is accommodated in a small chamber and is seated in a divine posture known as the Bhumisparsa Mudra. The image is made of bronze that weighs 6.5 tons. The statue is ornamented with precious gems and jewelry. Male members used to apply the gold leaves on the face of Mahamuni Buddha on a regular basis. Adjoining to the Buddha temple is the Mahamuni museum, which includes displays of Buddhism.
The ritual of face wash and brushing of teeth takes place every morning, which is performed by the senior monks to Buddha’s image. It is an elaborate ritual, which is performed for more than an hour. On special occasions, an orange Stoll is placed around the shoulder of Buddha statue.
Pagoda festival also known as the Mahamuni Paya Pwe held in early February in order to celebrate the history of Pagoda. During this festival, the Patthana is recited from the book of Conditional Relations. This festival also includes many entertaining programmes such as dancing, singing, theatre etc.
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