Bupaya Pagoda

Bupaya Pagoda

  • Bagan
  • Myanmar
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Bupaya Pagoda, Bagan Overview

Bupaya Pagoda is a distinguished pagoda situated in Bagan in Myanmar. It is precisely located on the Ayeyarwady River’s right coast. The small pagoda is characterized by a bulbous shaped dome. Turning back the pages of the history, it can be found that the small pagoda was built by the third King of Pagan, Pyusawhti who reigned from the time span of 168 to 243 AD. There are thousands of old and new pagodas located in Pagan and Bupaya Pagoda is counted amongst the most distinguished shrines in the region.

In 1975 an earthquake came and Bupaya Pagoda got ruined completely. This bulbous looking pagoda collapsed into the river. However, soon the pagoda was constructed again with the aid of modern materials. Though, while reconstructing no special attention was paid to make it like it was before and was constructed as gilded superstructure.


The pagoda is bulbous and is gourd or pumpkin shaped. The Bupaya word is made of the two words 'bu' and 'paya'. In Burmese language, the word 'Bu' means "pumpkin" or "gourd". The 'paya' word refers to "pagoda".


The legendary tale of Bupaya Pagoda goes like this. Pagoda was built by Pyusawti. When he was young, he won victory over "Five Great Menaces" that were posing threat to Pagan. The king got pleased with Pyusawti and got his daughter married to him. In the coming years, Pyusawti became the king of the region. It is said that during his rule, he constructed pagodas at the places where he had ruined the 'Menaces'.


Pagoda is situated on the periphery of the Irrawaddy River, which is known to be largest commercial waterway of Myanmar. The pagoda is precisely located within the walled city of Pagan, the capital city of the Burmese Kingdom during 11th to 13th centuries. The pagoda sprawls over the many crenellated terraces.


There have been several claims regarding the dating of pagoda. According to some historians, pagoda was built in as early as 3rd century. It was built by the third king of Pagan, Pyusawdi. The king is known to rule from 168 to 243 AD. Some reports also claim that the King Pyusawti commissioned the edifice in the 2nd century. There are also some claims that Bupaya Pagoda was built in 9th or 11th century.


The pagoda has large gravity-type pyramidal structure. Made from bricks, it has striking embellishments. It was a bell-shaped dome and there was also a finial that was used to decorate the dome. The pagoda treasures relics of Buddha.

The new Bupaya Pagoda was constructed in 1976–78 at the same place where old pagoda was built. The new edifice has been constructed to have a polygonal base. The pagoda sprawls over crenellated terraces.

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