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Shwegugyi Temple
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Good Time To Visit: The Whole Year
Visited: 4192 Time


Shwegugyi Temple
11th Century
King Alaungsithu
In front of the Bagan Palace
Early Period
That Byin Nyu Temple

Shwegugyi Temple

      Shwegugyi Temple (literally "Great Golden Cave") is a Buddhist temple built during the reign of King Alaungsithu in 1131. This pagoda is located near the entrance of the Royal Palace therefore also known as Nan Oo Paya in Myanmar. It is facing towards the north of Bagan. It lies on the north of Thabyinnyu Pagoda. The temple itself is built on an expansive brick foundation 3 metres (13 ft) tall. The temple is known for its arched windows, and its history, which is inscribed in two stone slabs in Pali. According to its inscription, the temple was completed in seven months.

      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 color. There used to be plaster moldings 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 are found decorative glazed tiles of green color 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.
      At the devotional halls on the east, west, and south sides and the vaulted corridor joining the main building are the big wooden door leaves dedicated by King Bayint Naung (A.D. 155181) who renovated Shwegugyi Pagoda during his pilgrimage there. On the door leaves are found beautiful carvings of birds. On the east side only one door leaf survives.
      Based on chronicles, there was also a saying that King Alaungsithu died at this place. When King Alaungsithu became old and suffered illness, his son removed him from the palace to this temple and left him to suffer. But Alaungsithu became conscious enough to ask where he was, but unfortunately his son came to kill him.
      It is a two-tired monument. The base form a square cellar forming the main structure. There are four Buddha images seated around the sides of the central block in the cellar. There are two original inscriptions on each side. King Bayinnaung was known to have renovated some of the entrance of the Shwegugyi Temple later in his period.

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