Mandalay

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Kuthodaw Pagoda.  Built by King Mindon at the time he built the city of Mandalay.   The central pagoda is modeled on the Shwezigon in Bagan but it is better know for housing   'The worlds largest book'.

Surrounding the walled 13 acre site at the south east entrance to Mandalay Hill, are 729 pitaka  pagodas or shrines.  Each shrine contains a marble slab,  inscribed on both sides with passages from  Theravada Buddhism’s sacred texts, the Tripitaka in Pali script.  The 730th slab tells the story of the construction of the 'worlds largest book

'The temples of Mandalay Hill can be seen in the background.

During the fifth Buddhist Synod in 1872 King Mindon had 2400 monks read the entire script non-stop, it took them almost six months to complete the reading.

The slabs are carved from local white Sagaing marble.  Each one is 5ft. tall by 3.5 ft. wide and is 5 in. thick.  The carving was done by over two hundred masons working within the royal palace.  The project began  in October 1860 and was finished in May 1869.  Originally the script was covered with gold leaf. 
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