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Kuthodaw Paya 2005

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Uploaded on Oct 6, 2010

Kuthodaw or Royal Merit Pagoda, built in 1860 by King Mindon (1853-1878) at the foot of Mandalay Hill, with the formal title of Maha Lawka Marazein, is also known as the world's largest book. It contains 729 marble slabs each inscribed on both sides to record the entire Buddhist Pali Canon (Tripitaka), individually erected in small stupas all around the central stupa. The inscriptions were opened to the public on 4 May 1868.

Later star flower trees, Mimusops elengi, were planted in the entire complex to provide a cool shade, imparting a wonderful fragrance when in bloom.

The annexation of Burma in 1885 saw British troops and sepoys billeted around Mandalay Hill, and the precincts were closed to the public until 1890 during which time the pagoda was ransacked, looted and vandalised from the Italian floor tiles to the pinnacle of jewel encrusted and gilded umbrella.

A committee of senior monks, members of the royal family and former officers of the king, including Atumashi Sayadaw (the Abbot of Atumashi Monastery), Kinwon Min Gyi U Kaung (chancellor), Hleithin Atwinwun (minister of the royal fleet), Yaunghwe Saopha Sir Saw Maung and Mobyè Sitkè (a general of the royal army), was formed to start restoration works with the help and donations from the families of the original donors according to custom and also from the public in 1892.

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