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Bupaya Pagoda
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Good Time To Visit: 1From19
Visited: 2916 Time

Name
Date
King
Location
Style
Nearby

Bupaya Pagoda, Buphaya Pagoda, Bu Phaya, Bupaya Phaya
300
Pyusawhti
North West corner of walled old Bagan, on the banks of the Irrawaddy river
Pyu style Indian influence
Mahabodhi, Gawdawpalin

      Although not one of Bagan's most impressive monuments, the Bupaya Pagoda is an attractive monument because of its age and its location on the banks of the Irrawaddy river.
      The gilded pagoda is built in Pyu style, which is a descendant from the Indian style stupa.
      The Bupaya Pagoda is one of the earliest monuments on the Bagan plains, although it is not known with certainty when exactly it was build. According to a sign at the entrance the pagoda dates back to the year 300.
      Judging from the style of the pagoda, it seems likely that it dates from the 9th century, when the city of Bagan was founded or the 11th century, when the city walls were build.

The legend of the Bupaya Pagoda

      The Bupaya pagoda is believed to be build by King Pyusawhti, who ruled Bagan during the end of the 3rd century. According to local legend Pyusawhti, before he was King, managed to free the Bagan Kingdom of five nuisances, one of which was the infestation of the Irrawaddy river banks by the bu, a kind of gourd plant.
      As a reward he was given the hand of the King's daughter. It is said that when Pyusawhti became King, he build the pagoda at the spot where the bu plant was eradicated. Buddhist relics were enshrined in the pagoda. With bu meaning gourd and phaya meaning pagoda, Bupaya Pahto literally means pagoda shaped like a gourd. The structure is in the shape of a bulbous dome and somewhat resembles the fruit of a gourd plant.
      The cylindrical stupa sits on top of a number of terraces, that looks like a fortress like structure when viewed from the river. On top is a gilded hti, a finial shaped as an umbrella found on almost all Burmese temples.

Reconstruction after the 1975 earthquake

      During the 1975 earthquake the original brick structure broke up and fell into the river.
      The pagoda standing today is a reconstruction of the original. Whereas the original was made of brick, the new one is a concrete structure and has been completely gilded.
      The temple grounds entrance is guarded by two white and gold Chinthe's, Burmese mythological lions. On the grounds are also a number of very ornate pavilions.
      The busy area around the temple is full of market stalls, ox carts and taxis. On the river banks are boats that can be chartered for a cruise along the Irrawaddy river.

 

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