Shwegugyi Temple

Shwegugyi Temple.This Pagoda lies on the north of THATBYINNYU. It is also Known as NAN-U Paya because it was built at the front of the palace. There is an excavated mound called “Aung Mye Kon” on the north and west of the Pagoda. King Alaung Sikhara built this Pagoda in A.D 1141. Standing on a brick plinth of 12 feet high the Pagoda looks like a big mushroom stem¬ming out of the ground. It is a cave Pagoda with a Sikhara on the top facing north. The wall of the brick plinth was adorned with glazed tiles of green colour. There used to be plaster mouldings presenting deva figures in row. But now only three remain on the southern side. At the north-west corner of the chamber there is a stone stairway leading to the top. All along the base of the pagoda and the terraces .no found decorative glazed tiles of green colour, still in good condition. Inside the image house, four Buddha images of brick and cement backing one another are seated around the central pillar. There are two inscribed stone slabs inlaid in the wall of the northern entrance. The inscription is in Pali, one slab has 47 lines and the other 45. They are Pali poem of 100 stanzas. At the end of the poem are two lines of Sanscrit. The inscription mentions the beginning and completion dates of the construction of the Pagoda. So we learn from it that it took 7 months and 7 days to build the Pagoda. The last two lines in Sanscrit run as follows; “The construction began on Sunday the 4th waning moon of Kason month in the Sakarit year 503 and SHWEGU GYI Pagoda was completed successfully on Monday the 11th waning moon of Nataw month in the Sakarit year 503. ” The inscription also mentions the regnal title of King Alaung Sithu as “Thiritibuvanaditya pavara dhammaraja”. The inscription says that the king built this pagoda because he wished to attain Nivirna and that the king sought after the noble virtues, that he strove to become Buddha himself and that he took refuge in three Gems (The Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha). The inscription continues to mention the king’s wishes— he prayed that he would like to do the welfare of himself and of others, he would like to return the debt of gratitude whomsoever he owed he would like to save the sentient beings from the sufferings of the birth cycle (Samsara) and just like Miteya the future Buddha the king would like to become the one much worshipped and adored by humans and devas. There are plaster works of floral designs, intricate orna-mental backdrops and other stuccos adorning the central pil¬lar. In each of the devotional halls on the north, south, and west sides are two statues of Duara-pala deva, one leg up and the other leg down. At each of the four sides of the main building are two windows to let in the breeze, totally 6 windows in all. These are original artworks.

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