Pahtothamya temple, Pahto-Tha-Mya temple
Late 10th century
Early period, Pyu influence
Thatbyinnyu temple, Nathlaung Kyaung temple, Bagan Archeological Museum
Pahtothamya temple: Small 10th century temple with a bulbous dome
The Pahtothamya temple is one of the oldest temples of Bagan. Although the founding date of the temple is not known with certainty, it was likely built towards the end of the 10th century by King Nyaung-U Sawrahan, ruler of Bagan when the area was not yet unified and Bagan was merely one of the many small city-states in the area.
The interior walls of the Pahtothamya contain remnants of some of the oldest mural paintings in Bagan. The temple is often closed to protect the murals. The temple located near the South border of old Bagan was damaged by the 1975 earthquake, and has been restored since.
Small, single storey temple
The stucco on the outer walls has largely disappeared. In the interior some of the stucco remains, on which fragments of ancients murals are visible. Some of the murals that have captions in ancient Mon script have been restored. By walking the corridor around the central dome in a clockwise direction devotees could learn about the Buddhist teachings by looking at the murals depicting scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha, the Jataka tales. The circumambulation would end with a mural depicting the reclining Buddha, passing into final Nirvana. A spiralling stairway in one of the walls leads to the terrace on top of the temple.
On the roof of the Pahtothamya stands a bulbous dome on top of which is a disc shaped box called Harmika, in which are enshrined relics of the Buddha. On the harmika stands a spire diminishing in size towards the top.