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Dhammayazika Pagoda
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Good Time To Visit: The Whole Year
Visited: 1050 Time


Dhammayazika Pagoda
Pwazaw village, South East of old Bagan
Late period, Octagonal floor plan
Number of less known monuments

      Located in a remote area of the Bagan plains is the magnificent Dhammayazika Pagoda.
      The pagoda was build by King Narapatisithu towards the end of the 12th century to enshrine a number of sacred Buddhist relics given to him by the King of Sri Lanka.
      The Dhammayazika is a brick structure, surrounded by five smaller structures that each enshrine an image of one of the five Buddha's of the current Kalpa.
      The pagoda is topped by a very large, impressive bell shaped fully gilded dome. The dome with horizontal concentric rings is beautifully decorated with several motifs, including lotus buds.

Pentagonal floor plan

      Where most of the Bagan monuments have a square floor plan, the Dhammayazika has a pentagonal layout. There is an entrance on each of its five sides. The five sided floor plan was intended to include veneration of the Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha yet to appear on earth.
      Most of the large Bagan monuments with a square floor plan have a statue of the Buddha on each of the four sides of the structure, one for each of the four previous Buddha's that have reached nirvana, the Kassapa Buddha, the Kakusandha Buddha, the Konagamana Buddha and the Gautama Buddha.

Five shrines around the pagoda

      On each of the five sides of the Dhammayazika pagoda is a smaller structure enshrining an image of the Buddha. Besides images of the four previous Buddha's, the fifth structure holds an image of the Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha.
      The five structures are topped with a sikhara (a tower like structure similar to that on the Ananda temple) and a gilded hti, an ornamental spire shaped as an umbrella.
      The three receding terraces that form the base of the dome contain glazed terracotta plaques with depictions of the 547 Jataka tales, the stories about the previous lives of the Buddha. Some of the beautiful plaques have weathered badly and are in a bad state.

      The walkway towards the temple's entrance is lined with vendors selling souvenirs and local products. A brick stairway leads up to the large, arched and intricately decorated entrance gate.
      The Dhammayazika pagoda is set in a garden like environment with flowers and trees, in the otherwise mostly dry and often barren plains of Bagan.

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