Thatbyinnyu temple

Must See Thatbyinnyu temple

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Old Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Located in the centre of Old Bagan is Thatbyinnyu Temple. Constructed during the 12th century by Alaungsithu, Ruler of the Pagan dynasty, Alaungsithu's reign was prosperous, and the temple's ornate façade and overall size (it can be seen across the Bagan plains) points to a former opulence.

Thatbyinnyu stands 61 metres tall and exemplifies the transition between Mon an Bamar architectural styles. Upon the Bamara-influenced base a hallow cube adds height to the Mon shrine which were normally only one storey tall. The square base is topped by three receding terraces each crowned by a small stupa on all corners.

Sitting atop the terraces is a smaller cube structure in which the Buddha's image is enshrined. While all four sides have entryways, the temple is not symmetrical as the east side is longer than the other three. Seated Buddha's in wall niches decorate the corridors.

The temple's terraces are off-limits to the public to prevent any further destruction. A 1975 earthquake badly damaged the temple, and though it was repaired, another earthquake in 2016 also did quite a bit of damage.

Of the 36 pagodas affected in Bagan, Thatbyinnyu Temple suffered some of the worst damage. Restoration began in 2017.

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