Guide de voyageTripadvisor

Mingun Pagoda - Mandalay

12/04/2019 880 Views
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.
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. 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.
The Mingun Pagoda is a massive unfinished pagoda
The Mingun Pagoda is a massive unfinished pagoda

To get an idea what the pagoda would have looked like if it had been finished, have a look at the Pondaw Pagoda. This whitewashed pagoda with a golden spiral on top nearby at the bank of the river is a model of what the Great Paya was meant to be. A grand stairway guarded by two Chinthes gives access to the five meter high model.
On the streets behind the Mingun Paya are a few souvenir shops and restaurants.

History of the Mingun Pagoda

Construction of the massive pagoda was ordered by King Bodawpaya, the 6th King of the Konbaung dynasty. The King who was at the peak of his power achieved a number of great successes at the end of the 18th century. In 1784 he invaded Arakan and seized the capital city Mrauk U. Among with other treasures, he seized the Mahamuni Buddha image, Burma’s most highly venerated Buddha image and brought it back to his Kingdom. He also acquired a sacred Buddha tooth relic, something that his predecessors had not been able to achieve. To enshrine a Buddha relic of such great importance, the King wanted to build the largest pagoda in the country and probably in the world. The King intended the pagoda to be 152 meters high. The impressive scale of the Paya was probably also meant to serve as a demonstration of his power. The pagoda was of such great importance to the King that he left the matters of state to his son and had a new residence for himself built on an island in the river to oversee the construction project.
MIngun pagoda at the back
Mingun pagoda at the back

Construction of the Pagoda halted in 1797

Work on the pagoda started in 1790. In 1797 when the pagoda had reached a height of 50 meters, one third of the intended height, construction was halted. There were probably several reasons why work on the project stopped. Because of the massive size of the pagoda that was meant to be much larger than anything else in its time, it is likely that there were technical difficulties with the construction. Another problem was insufficient labor, because many of the slaves brought over for the construction project escaped. A prophecy going around in the Kingdom foretold that once the pagoda was finished the Kingdom would come to an end, which may have led to a deliberate slowdown of the project. It is also likely that there was insufficient funding to complete the pagoda, because of economic problems at the turn of the century. When the King died in 1819 the project was indefinitely halted and none of his successors resumed work on it.
It was halted in 1917
It was halted in 1917

The Mingun bell

In 1808 King Bodawpaya had an enormous bell made that was meant to be installed at the top of the giant stupa. The bell is housed nearby the Paya in a Zayat, an intricate Burmese style pavilion with a multi tiered roof. The bell that was cast from 1808 until 1810 measuring almost 4 meters high is the largest working bell in the world. The number 55555 is inscribed in Burmese script on the outside of the bell, 55555 being the weight in viss, a Burmese unit of measurement, which is about 90 tons. The bell is rung by striking its exterior with a wood log.
The Mingun bell
The Mingun bell

How to get to the Mingun Pagoda

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. The pagoda opens daily during daylight hours. A ticket for the Sagaing - Mingun archeological zone costs US$ 4. This ticket is valid for the Mingun Pagoda and for other monuments in the area like the nearby Hsinbyume Pagoda.
ONLY WITH US : 100 % MONEY BACK GUARANTEE within 10 days from the date of booking if not satisfied.
For further information, or simply a free quote, please contact us at any time via our email: info@galatourist.com, our experienced consultants will reply to you within 48 hours.
Sincerely yours & see you soon!
GALATOURIST since 2005.
Related Articles
Explore the Bago fairy city, south of Yangon - Myanmar
Explore the Bago fairy city, south of Yangon - Myanmar
If you have visited all the beautiful scenery in Yangon and have no plans to go. So wait, come to the city of Bago right and always !
Top 5 ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan, Myanmar
Top 5 ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan, Myanmar
Anyone who has the passion to explore the mystical beauty of Myanmar when arriving in Bagan can’t fail to visit the monuments of ancient monuments left here. The Buddhist temples that stand along the flow of time are the testimony to the dynasties and Buddhist culture in Myanmar.
The famous tourist destinations of Mandalay, Myanmar
The famous tourist destinations of Mandalay, Myanmar
Mandalay is the principal economic and religious city of upper Myanmar. It is situated in the centre of the country and 714 km north of Yangon. It was founded in 1857 by King Mindon, where the Royal Palace of the Konbaung Dynasty is located and it was the last monarchy until being occupied by the British in 1885. Today, Mandalay is still accepted as the art and cultural heartland of Myanmar and one can also discover the history, tradition, ritual and ceremonies there. Moreover, it is also easily accessible to Sagaing, Ava (Inwa), Amarapura, Mingun and Pyin Oo Lwin.
Attractive and impressive experiences in Yangon, Myanmar
Attractive and impressive experiences in Yangon, Myanmar
Yangon is one of famous places in Myanmar, where well-known tourist attractions, tourist services are diverse and attractive. If you want to enjoy adventure travel in Yangon Myanmar, you should read the post carefully to known about wonderful experiences in there.
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in the world and it is certainly the main attraction of Yangon, Myanmar’s capital city.
The Golden Rock - Kyaiktiyo
The Golden Rock - Kyaiktiyo
The Golden Rock (Kyaik-htiyo or Kyaiktiyo), perched atop a cliff near Yangon, is one of the most sacred sites in Burma. The great boulder precariously balances on the edge of a cliff and is topped by a small stupa. An endless stream of pilgrims come to admire the sight and add squares of gold leaf to its surface.
The Shwezigon Pagoda of Bagan
The Shwezigon Pagoda of Bagan
Gold plated pagoda built by the founder of the Bagan empire. The Shwezigon Pagoda is one of the oldest and most impressive monuments of Bagan. Most noticeable is the huge gold plated pagoda glimmering in the sun. The design of the Shwezigon Pagoda has been copied many times across Burma over the centuries.
Myanmar Currency & Money
Myanmar Currency & Money
Riel (KHR; symbol CR) is the country’s official currency but locals prefer to use dollars. Riel notes are in denominations of CR100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Dollars notes (not coins) are widely accepted, yet visitors in small villages and shops vendors may not have change for high notes (including $10+). It is advisable to keep hold of small Riel change wherever you can as it is very useful.
Myanmar Health Care and Vaccinations
Myanmar Health Care and Vaccinations
There are hospitals and clinics in cities and larger towns, and regional health centres in outlying areas, although the quality of healthcare is generally low in Myanmar. Many hospitals lack basic equipment and medication, a situation not helped by high levels of corruption, and international-standard facilities
Things to see and do in Myanmar
Things to see and do in Myanmar
The small town of Hpa-an, in the southeast of the country, is a pleasant place to spend a few days. Moreover there are some excellent day trips from the town, and you can take a taxi or ride a rented motorbike through scenic rice fields to swimming holes, a pagoda perched on a vertical column of rock, and caves full of Buddhist art.
Myanmar Shopping and nightlife
Myanmar Shopping and nightlife
Myanmar’s cities are not shopping destinations on a par with regional favourites such as Bangkok or Singapore, but there are still some bargains to be found. Souvenirs include jewellery – some of the most interesting being made from petrified wood or from jade
Myanmar Food and Drink
Myanmar Food and Drink
The regional cuisine balances spicy, sour, bitter and salty flavours; it can be quite hot but rarely as much so as Thai food. Common local ingredients include fish, seafood, chicken and vegetables spiced with onions, ginger, garlic and chillies, served with rice or noodles
Filter articles
Top
free telephone appointment
tripadvisor
call
Customize your trip
Customize
Leave a message
Contact
(+84)
Call now!
WhatsApp
WhatsApp
Messenger
View Google Map
Google Map