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Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan


Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan


  • The Dhammayangyi is considered the biggest temple in the plains of Bagan. It looks like the pyramid of Egypt from a distance.
  • The huge building which was never completed has a large square bottom topped by 6 diminishing terraces

Builder of the temple

  • King Narathu’s brother was next lined up to become King. But to become King of Bagan Narathu murdered his father and his brother. Narathu was possibly concerned about harmful karma so he built a huge temple to acquire benefit as well as to make up for killing his father and brother . King Narathu built the Dhammayangyi temple in 1170.
  • The King himself was murdered later. There are many myths regarding the demise of Narathu. One myth was that the King of Pateikkaya sent a group of Indians which murdered King Narathu. The murder was in retribution for the murdering of one of Narathu’s spouses , who was a Princess of Pateikkaya. Another myth is that invaders from Sri Lanka killed Narathu.  

Construction rubble in the temple’s interior  

  • The Dhammayangyi temple was never wholly completed . Construction was possibly stopped immediately after the demise of the King . Most of the temple’s inside was filled with construction rubble , including 3 of the 4 sanctums inside the internal core and a lot of the 2 passages running across the Temple’s central core .
  • It is possible that the Temple’s inner surface was deliberately filled up with rubble by resentful workers due to Narathu’s very tough rule or perhaps to stop the spirit of King Narathu from departing the  Temple .
  • The brick work of the Dhammayangyi was completed with fantastic accuracy . The myth states that King Narathu had the labourers killed or their hands cut if the work was not completed correctly .



Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan