Htilominlo Temple

Htilominlo Temple.This cave Pagoda was built in A.D. 1218 by the king who bore three names, ” Zeya Theinkha,” “Nan Taung Mya Min” and ” Htilo Minlo Min” Legend has it that King Narapati Sithu had five sons. He had to appoint one of them Crown Prince. He had in mind Zeya Theinkha to succeed him. But to be fair he let the white umbrella which was one of the royal regalia to choose the deserving son. He placed the white umbrella in the center of the sons who were ranged around it. He prayed ” May the white umbrella incline towards the son who deserves to be Crown Prince.” The white umbrella inclined towards Zeya Theinkha. When Zeya Theinkha became king he built this Pagoda on the site of the white umbrella that inclined toward him. ” Htilo Minlo Min” means the king favoured by the white umbrella and the father king. This Pagoda has three vaulted corridors. The middle corridor is like a dark secret passage going around the central structure, it is reached via entrance hole at the top of a spiral staircase built in the thickness of the wall. In the main Pagoda, and the fencing walls, bricks were laid by an excellent skill. The spans at the four corners of the main hall are in square shape. They have no iron or wooden beam to buttress. They were built of bricks and cement only. Glazed sandstone tiles of green and yellow colour decorated the structure. They reflect brilliantly in the sunlight. Glazed sandstone tiles are rare decorative artwork. Glazing requires very high temperature. High temperature can cause crack to sandstone tiles. Only skilled technicians could produce such decorative pieces. As in the other monuments, plastic mouldings found at this pagoda are of no mean quality. A few words may be said about its architecture. The devotional halls have double tiered spans, with hollow-outs be-tween them. Under the pole plates are stone bars to support the pole plates. Sandstones were used at the right angles of the building. In the walls in which bricks were laid vertically, sandstones were inserted at equal intervals for strengthening and longer durability. On the ceilings of the circumambulating vaulted corridors are found original paintings, ink inscriptions and the horoscopes of certain personages. The morning view from the upper storey of Htilo Minlo Pagoda gives you a panorama of clusters of ancient monuments on the west, with Tant Kyi Taung hill range in the background. The great Thatbyinnyu and graceful Ananda appear prominent among them. There are eight Buddha images, four on the ground floor and four on the upper storey. They face four cardinal directions. The upper vaulted corridor is flanked by two rows of niches enshrining stone artworks. The vaulted corridor on the ground floor has 22 niches but stone Buddha images in them had been stolen. When the 1975 earthquake toppled down the Sikhara of the Pagoda, one footed iron bars, bronze casket, gold casket, silver casket, and glass casket were discovered inside. They are now on display at Archeological Museum, Bagan.

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