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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Hsinbyume Pagoda is located in the tiny town of Mingun which lies in the Sagaing region in northwestern Burma. Mingun is just 7 miles away from Mandalay and can be reached in an hour by boat along the Ayeyarwady River.
What to SeeThe Hsinbyume Pagoda, also called the “Myatheindan Pagoda”, lies in the north of the town of Mingun, very close to the stupa of Mingun Pahtodawgyi. The pagoda, which is snow white in color, resembles the description of Mount Meru which is a Buddhist, mythological mountain.
The construction of the pagoda began in the year 1816 under King Bagyidaw of the Konbaung dynasty. Hsinbyume Pagoda is dedicated to the memory of the King’s cousin who became the first consort to Princess Hsinbyume, which means the “White Elephant Princess”. She was born in 1789 and died during childbirth in a nearby location in 1812.
The architecture of the pagoda deviates significantly from the Burmese model of pagodas. It is modeled on the physical descriptions of the mythical pagoda on Mount Meru, called the Sulamani Pagoda. The base of Hsinbyume Pagoda resembles Mount Meru itself. The pagoda consists of seven concentric terraces which represents the seven mountains which rise up to Mount Meru. One can see all representations of mythical creatures in the niches of the shrine like Ogres, Serpents, or Nagas, and the Nats, or the Spirits.
It is possible to climb the stairway to the top of the structure. From the top you will have great views of the Ayeyarwady River and the nearby Mingun Pagoda.
The temple complex is completely walled with a large gate providing access to the grounds. Local Buddhists come to the Hsinbyume Pagoda to pay homage, make offerings, and light incense.
A devastating earthquake in the year 1836 damaged Hsinbyume Pagoda considerably and it was successfully restored in the year 1874 by King Mindon who was the penultimate king of the country.
Languages SpokenBurmese and Chinese are the principal languages spoken here while English remains as a third language, spoken only by the elites of the town.
How to ReachMost visitors to Mandalay make a one-day trip to the town of Mingun which can be reached in an hour from Mandalay. Mingun can be reached by ferry or by hiring a car from Mandalay. A car takes about 45 minutes to reach while the journey by boat takes about an hour. It is suggested that you take a ferry from the Gawwein Jetty in Mandalay and enjoy a slow ride to reach the tiny town of Mingun.
Entrance Fee and Opening HoursThe pagoda opens daily during daylight hours. Entrance to Hsinbyume Pagoda requires a ticket for the Sagaing - Mingun archaeological zone at $ 4.00 USD .
This ticket is also valid for other monuments in the area like the Mingun Pagoda close by.
Other Similar AttractionsThe incomplete stupa of the Pahtodawgyi Pagoda and its famous ringing bell, are some of the other major tourist attractions of Mingun Town.
Apart from this, once in Mingun one can also visit The Mingun Home for the Aged which was founded by Daw oo Zun in 1915. The Mandalay Palace and the fabulous Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is located near Mandalay] City, are some of the other most interesting places to be visited while travelling through these central parts of Burma.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Jan 21, 2015