Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

The Kyauktawgyi Pagoda is located near the southern entry to Mandalay Hill. Kyauktawgyi meaning the Great Marble Buddha Image in Myanmar. The Kyauktawgyi Pagoda was built by King Mindon in 1853 on the model of the Ananda Temple at Pagan. It closely resembles the Ananda in exterior form but it falls short of the latter in construction and interior decoration. The pagoda was completed during 1878. The chief feature of the Kyauktawgyi Paya is huge seated Buddha figure sculpted from a single block of pale green marble from the Sagyin quarry twelve miles north of Mandalay. It was said that about 10 thousand men took about 2 weeks to transport the stone block from the Ayeyarwaddy River to the site where it is today. The Buddha Image is seated in “Bhumisparsha mudra”, the gesture of “calling the Earth to witness.” The focus of this statue is the hand, the eyes are severely downcast if not actually closed. A covered corridor leads through the garden of the arhats to the structure housing the Buddha. On each of the four sides there are twenty shrines with figures representing the arhats, the eighty Great Disciples of the Buddha.

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