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Why Mingun Paya is special ?
It is one of the famous buildings in the world. The building of Mingun Pahtodawgyi started in 1791. Hand it been completed it would have a height of some 500 feet. It was stopped at 162 feet height. Its girth is about 450 square feet. This is Pondawya Pagoda which is prototype of Mingun Pahtodawgyi. You can study Myanmar arts and crafts of Kongbaung period in Mingun Pahtodawgyi. King Bodawpaya built Mingun Pahtodawgyi aiming to worship from Shwebo in the distance where he has ascended the throne. The pagoda was left unfinished. Two enormous prominent statues of lions in Mingun. one of the tourist atttractions is at the east stairway of Pahtodawgyi which faces the Ayeyawaddy river.From here. you can also enjoy natural scenic beauty of Ayeyawady river and green and pleasant Minwun hill. If this pagoda been completed. then it would have been the largest monument. This unfinished structure was badly damaged with cracks by the earthquake of 1838 but it is still the largest brick base in the world.
What to explore at Mingun Paya?
The Mingun Pagoda is a massive unfinished pagoda built at the end of the 18th century, that was meant to be the largest pagoda in the country.
The massive paya, also known as the Mantara Gyi Pagoda, the Mingun Pahtodawgyi and the Great Royal Stupa makes for an impressive site on the banks of the Irrawaddy river. In front of the pagoda facing the river are the remains of two giant Chinthe lions about 29 meters high, guarding the temple.
At the center of the 50 meter high pagoda facing the river is a huge richly decorated entrance. Inside the pagoda is a small shrine with a Buddha image.
It is possible to climb to the top of the pagoda using a stairway to the right of the structure. From there you will have magnificent views of the area with the nearby Hsinbyume Pagoda, several other pagodas, the Irrawaddy river and the mountains to the back of the pagoda.
Two large earthquakes did considerable damage to the Mingun Pagoda. During the 1838 earthquake the heads of the giant Chinthes broke off and rolled into the Irrawaddy river. Large cracks appeared in the Paya’s structure.
How to get to Mingun Paya?
The Paya is located on the West bank of the Irrawaddy river in the North part of Mingun town. The Mingun bell is a few hundred meters North of the Pagoda. The site is about 10 kilometers from Mandalay.
The easiest and most fun to get there is by boat from Mandalay which takes around 1 hour. From the pier you can either walk to the Paya or take an ox cart marked as taxi. The Paya is a Buddhist temple, please take off shoes and sox before entering.
- IThe Largest Stupa
- World's largest pagoda
- A place were memories are made
- Interesting history of its origin
- Interesting cultural experience
Tips for you
If you're in Mandalay, this is a must-do half day trip to Mingun. There are two ways of getting there, by boat or by car. Mingun is on the North West bank of Mandalay on the Irrawaddy river. It take about an hour by boat, but I opted to go by car. To go by car, you drive down on the Mandalay to Sagaing highway and cross the Yadanarpon bridge. Going by car, there are a lot more pagodas along the way that you can visit. By car it takes about an hours drive too, but the advantage is that you have a car to drive around once you're on the Mingun side. The Mingun Pagoda's actual name is the Pa Hto Taw Gyi Temple, built by King Bodawpayar. The King did not finish building it, because an astrologer told him that he would die once it was completed. Earthquakes cracked the brick temple and ruined the 2 huge lion statues on the river bank. I couldn't climb to the top as I was there at noon and it was so hot to walk to the top and you're not allowed to wear footwear. The locals will offer you branches, which you can use to cool off your foot, if you decide to climb it. I just regret I wasn't able to climb it and see the amazing views from the top. Another thing worth pointing out is walking around the whole temple as you get a different view from each side. Some people just look at the front and they are done, which is kind of a waste, because once you're there, it's worth seeing the whole temple.
If you are in Mandalay for longer Mingun is a great half day escape. However there is not much to see; the 2nd largest bell in the world. You are done with the visit in 45 minutes.