September 20, 2017

Ministry of Culture now protecting ancient Bagaya Buddhist Monastery

People are volunterring for cleanliness in the compound of Bagaya Monastery. Photo: Min Htet Aung
People are volunterring for cleanliness in the compound of Bagaya Monastery. Photo: Min Htet Aung

BAGAYA Monastery, the popular and highly revered site of traditional culture, which is seen as a symbol of the country, has had its preservation ensured by the Ministry of Culture from fading or the loss of its physical details.
A campaign which aims to carry out sanitation around the monastery was recently launched by officials and staff from the Department of Historical Research and National Library, National Cultural and Fine Arts University and the Fine Arts Department.
The Bagaya Buddhist Monastery is situated southwest of Inwa Palace in Inwa ancient city which is located about 20 kilometers away from Mandalay Region. Numerous artistic works of the Inwa Era can found at these religious edifice.
The original name of the monastery was “Maha Waiyan Bonthar” but it is now formally known as Bagaya (star flowers) Monastery.
The original monastery was destroyed by fire during the reign of King Bagyidawphaya in Myanmar era in 1183. However, King Bagan who established the second Amarapura reconstructed the monastery in 1209 ME with twelve stairways made of brick. Currently, only eight stairways remain because of a fire during the reign of King Mindon in 1228 ME.
In 1313 ME, the monastery was resurrected to hold Buddhist images and palm-leaf inscriptions from the four corners of the country.
In 1993 A.D the monastery was renovated to mimic the original structure and decorated with ancient architecture. Since then the Buddhist images museum has run the site where 472 Buddha images are still being kept.—Min Htet Aung

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