Kaunghmudaw Pagoda

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Kaunghmudaw Pagoda

      The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda (Yaza Mani Sula Kaunghmudaw, also spelled Kaung-hmu-daw) is a large pagoda on the northwestern outskirts of Sagaing in central Myanmar (Burma), built by King Thalun (Thadoe Dhamma Yarzar) and his son, Ngadakadayaka in A.D 1636. Modeled after the Ruwanwelisaya pagoda of Sri Lanka, the Kaunghmudaw is known for its egg-shaped design, which stands out among more traditional-style, pyramid-shaped Burmese pagodas.

      The stupa's formal name Yaza Mani Sula signifies the enshrinement of Buddhist relics inside its relic chamber. But it is commonly known by its popular name, Kaunghmudaw (lit. “Royal Merit-Making”).This hemispherical form of white pagoda, over 150 feet high and 900 feet in circumferece at the base, took 12 years to build. The legend has it that it was inspired by the perfect breasts of the favorite wife of King Thalun. The pagoda dome had been continuously painted white to signify purity but now gilded with gold. It is one of the famous pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the Sagaing area.