Bupaya Pagoda (1657/ 961)

Type of monument Type I Temple (Bulbous dome)
Location On the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy River
Region Old Bagan
Built by King Pyusawhti
Date A D 162
Monument Number 1657/ 961
Bu Paya

Bu Paya is located on the bank of the Ayeyawady River, in the north-west direction of the city wall of Bagan. It is traditionally opined that Bu Paya was built in A D 3rd  century by King Pyusaw Hti. The shape of the pagoda is typically Pyu. In the Pyu Period of Myanmar history, pagodas were built in cylindrical form with no decoration of art work.

In Bagan, before the bell shaped pagodas came into fashion, Pyu type pagodas were quite common. Besides Bu Paya, Nga Kywe Na Daung, Pauk Pin Ya and Htoo Pa Lay Su Tan Pagodas on the north of Thiri Pyit Saya village are of Pyu type.

The above mentioned pagodas resemble in design Bei Bei Gyi, Paya Gyi, Paya Mar pagodas at an old Pyu capital Thaye Khit Taya in Pyay (near Hmaw za village). They are ancient zedis of A.D 11th century, predating King Anawrahta’s time.

The earthquake of 1975 toppled it down sparing only its base platform. During its reconstruction, the base platform was excavated. A statue of Avalokestra deva (the Bodithat) and some votive terra cotta tablets bearing prints of the Buddha in abaya mudra (no danger gesture with two hands stretched out in the posture of preventing danger) were discovered. They are on display at the Archaeological Museum, Bagan. These artifacts belong to the Pyu period, confirming the traditional opinion that Bu Paya was King Pyu Saw Hti’s dedication.

Bupaya (Google Map)

Reference Books:

Glimpse of Glorious Bagan, Universities Historical Research Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, The University Press, 1996

Pictorial Guide to Pagan, Ministry of Culture, Yangon, Myanmar, The Printing and Publish Corporation, Reprint 1975

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan, Vol. 1, Translated by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1995

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan, Vol. 2, English Text by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1998

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