Upali Thein (Ordination Hall) (2121/ 1416)

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Type of monument Ordination Hall
LocationAcross Htilominlo Temple
RegionNyaung U & Wetkyi-In
Built byMonk Upali
DateMid 13th Century
Monument Number 2121/ 1416
Upali Sima (Ordination Hall) (2,121/ 1,416)

Upali Sima (Ordination Hall) stands on the north side of the Bagan-Nyaung U tarred road. Ink writings on the northern wall of the west entrance tell us that King Anawrahta and Maha Thera Upali built and consecrated the Sima. So it came to be known as Upali Sima.

Because of its accessible location and beautiful frescoes, Upali Sima is quite wellknown locally and nation-wide.

From the ink writings on the wall of the north arched entrance we learn that the frescoes belong to the Konbaung Period (A D 1752-1885). The ink writings mention “the Sima was painted with pictures in Sakarit year 1156 (i.e A D 1794) and the art fees kyat 1920”.

The structure was built on the original brick platform of the Bagan Period. Inside are two Buddha statues, leaning against the western wall.

The structure has four arched entrances. Originally there used to be the picture of a pair of Buddha’s foot prints on the eastern arched entrance. The earthquake of 1975 had destroyed it. Other beautiful frescoes from the ceiling fell off. On the walls around are pictures of 28 future Buddhas journeying to the forest to become a recluse. Some ride white elephant, some ride chariot, some go on foot, some on horseback. Cutting their hair as an act of renouncing the mundane life is also depicted in the frescoes. There are also pictures of Gotama Buddha’s lents and places of his lents.

The frescoes (wall paintings) in Upali Thein belong to the Konbaung Period.
Upali Thein (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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