August 19, 2016

Ancient relics recovered from remains of toppled Rakhine pagoda

Ancient relics are recovered from remains of a toppled pagoda in Minbya Township, Rakhine State.
Ancient relics are recovered from remains of a toppled pagoda in Minbya Township, Rakhine State.

Minbya, August 16 – a number of relics, including a golden pagoda statue have reportedly been recovered in the wake of the toppling over of the ancient Myetyoedawdat Pagoda in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township.
The upper and middle sections of the pagoda toppled over on the afternoon of August 10, while members of the pagoda trustee group have reportedly since managed to recover 65 of the pagoda’s relics which include bronze bells and pagoda statues.
“The rain has been torrential. The pagoda has always featured various cracks and opening on its structure. The rain seeped into these cracks, weakening the pagoda and causing it to topple over. We managed to collect in, and safe house, a golden pagoda statue from inside the pagoda, along with a number of other precious relics. I’m sure we’ll come across more in the coming days. All the relics we find and keep safe will be used again when the pagoda is rebuilt,” said U Aung Kyaw Sein, from the pagoda trustee group.
The Myetyoedawdat Pagoda is located seven miles outside of the town of Minbya, beside the Yangon-Sittwe highway. It’s original height measured 50 feet and the circumference of its base is 96 feet.
“The pagoda can’t be restored to its former glory anymore. If we were to make repairs to the upper section, it wouldn’t be sturdy with the base and could topple down once again. The whole pagoda will have to be systematically rebuilt from the bottom up to ensure the foundation is secure,” said U Htun Myint Oo, a resident of Awa village located nearby the pagoda. The Myetyoedawdat Pagoda was constructed in the Buddhist calendar year of 222 by erstwhile Rakhine King Suriyasetka, and was consecutively maintained and worshiped by the king’s successors.
Rakhine residents have voiced the need for repairs to be to historic pagodas and stupas across the state – including the likes of those in the Mrauk-U Ancient Cutural Zone – which are showing cracks and dilapidation, having been weakened by impact of the annual monsoon rains.


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