Sulamani Temple (748/ 364 A)(စူဠာမဏိ ဘုရား)

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Type of monument Type II Temple (Kundaung Pauk Gu)
LocationAbout a mile east of Bagan
Built byNarapatisithu
DateA D 1183
Monument Number 748/ 364 A
Sulamani Temple (748/ 364 A) (စူဠာမဏိဘုရား)
“In order that men might follow the Path and reach fruition in Nibbana, he built a great work of merit with two hollow storeys and called it Sulamani.”
Thus do the chronicles record this act of merit by King Narapatisithu (1174-1211). The name chosen Cuāmaṇi in Pali, meaning “Crowning Jewel” was a particularly sacred one, being the name of the reliquary monument in the celestial abode of Tāvatiṁsā in which was enshrined the holy hair of the Buddha when, as Prince Siddhattha, he cut it off to renounce the world and set out on a life of asceticism.
The chronicles also record how Narapatisithu settled on a site for the temple. It is said that once, when Narapatisithu was returning from climbing Mount Tuywin, he chanced upon a ruby shining radiantly in a hollow. He exclaimed, “It is a sign for me to make a work of merit here!” and making men fill up the hollow, he built the Sulamani there.
The Sulamani consists of two storeys, each of which is square in plan, with porches on all four sides but with the eastern porch extending farther than the others. The upper storey is set back from the lower, but it is of the same height. Both storeys are surmounted by receding terraces, with crenellated parapets and small stupas at the corners. Glazed terracotta plaques of different sizes and patterns decorate the terraces but the damaged spire above conveys a feeling of incompleteness.
In the ground storey, a vaulted corridor runs around the central pile of solid brickwork, each side of which has a seated image of the Buddha on a pedestal. The image on the eastern side differs slightly from the others, being set into a deep recess. Two narrow flights of steps set into the thick walls lead to the terrace above the eastern porch. From there, two broad stairways lead to the upper storey. Here too a vaulted corridor runs around the central block, which has a recess on the eastern side to form an image chamber.
The inner walls of the temple were once decorated with paintings, but they are now obliterated or overlaid with more recent paintings of no great artistic merit.

Sulamani Temple (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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