Lawkananda Pagoda (1023/ 418 A)

Lawkananda Pagoda (1,023/ 418 A)

King Dhatusena of Sri Lanka (Thein go Pyi) presented to King Anawrahta a replica of the sacred Tooth of the Buddha. King Anawrahta received the sacred relic in a bejewelled gold basket and put it on the back of his white Elephant and let it loose. The white elephant bearing the sacred relic roamed till it reached a hill top near Bagan jetty. There it knelt down indicating that the place was auspicious for enshrining the replica Tooth, The king had a Pagoda named Lawka Nanda built on the site in which the replica Tooth and other votive objects were enshrined Lawka Nanda is one of four pagodas at the four cardinal directions of Bagan, in each of which one replica of the Sacred Tooth was enshrined.

The architectural design of Lawka Nanda zedi bespeaks the transition between Pyu type and Myanmar type. On its bell shaped dome there are no decorative designs such as motifs of downturned and upturned lotus flower, ogres clutching the floral garlands, and thirivisa emblem, It is a simple plain bell shaped dome. The design of Baw Baw Gyi Zedi at Hmaw Sa near Pyay was adapted to Myanmar type by slight changes.

The concentric rings on the top of the bell shaped dome are adorned with unique artistic designs.

In due north of Lawka Nanda, on the river bank is a zedi named Kyauk Myet Maw Paya Kyi which resembles Lawka Nanda in design. It is a zedi which enclosed a smaller zedi.

Lawka Nanda is the original name of Bagan Period. There are two inscribed stone pillars of the Bagan period at the back of the eastern tazaung. In line 20 of the inscription on the pillar on the south side is mentioned the name “Lawka Nanta”.

In the eastern tazaung there is a Buddha statue of 6 feet high, sculpted out of a monolithic sandstone which is the material used for making Buddha images in the time of King Anawrahta, The statue bears the gesture of jhana mudra (in a state of deep mental concentration). Stocky sandstone Buddha statues were made in King Anawrahta’s time, with motifs of lotus flowers on palm and sole. Such Buddha statues are on display in the Archaeological Museum or are found in the Shwe Sandaw Pagoda which was built by King Anawrahta.

The earthquake of 1975 damaged Lawka Nanda Pagoda causing same stucco works such as the motifs of down-turned and up-turned lotus flowers and the fruit of Star flower tree that adorned it fell down. A stone casket was discovered in the concentric rings of the Pagoda. Inside the stone casket was found an alloy casket, inside it was found a bronze casket, inside it was found a silver casket, inside it was found a gold casket, inside it were found sacred relics of the size of a sesamum seed with pearly sheen, and a tooth shaped stone piece.

The relics and the tooth shaped stone piece were re-enshrined in the Pagoda, and the caskets are displayed in the Archaeological Museum.

One bronze Buddha statue of early Bagan Period and one bronze Laba Muni Buddha statue with two disciples each on either side, were also discovered in Lawka Nanda Pagoda. The statues are now displayed at the Museum. The stone replica of the Buddha’s foot print on display at the Museum was also excavated from Lawka Nanda Pagoda. According to the Manuha Paya stone inscription the site of Lawka Nanda Paya was the jetty of ancient Bagan.

Lawkananda Pagoda (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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2 thoughts on “Lawkananda Pagoda (1023/ 418 A)

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