Dhammayangyi Temple

Being manufactured by King Narathu (1167-70) – the ‘king killed by Indians’, Dhammayangyi Temple is the most enormous structure in Bagan which has a comparative architectural ground plan to Ananda Temple. Looking from distance, this immense temple resembles somewhat the great pyramids of Egypt. It is said that King Narathu directly administered the construction and if a needle could be pushed between bricks, the masons laying them would be executed. But it is pity that Narathu never finished the development on the grounds since he was assassinated before its completion.

The floor plan inside the temple comprises two ambulatories, with the innermost passage almost entirely filled with brick rubble, for centuries. Three out of the four Buddha sanctums were likewise loaded with bricks. Gautama and Maitreya – the two unique side-by-side images of the historical and future Buddhas stay in the remaining western holy shrine. The interlocking, mortar less brickwork at Dhammayangyi, best acknowledged on the upper terraces, is the finest in Bagan. However, it is unfortunate that the upper most terraces and secreted stairways leading them are presently beyond reach to visitors.

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