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September 18, 2019

Htokekanthein Stupa : Rakhine’s Cultural Heritage

Among Myanmar’s precious cultural heritage, Htokekanthein stupa in Mrauk-U is one of Rakhine Cultural Heritage. Built in AD 1571 and worshipped by King Phalaung and Queen Shinlatt, 17th king Mrauk-U Dynasty. Htokekanthein stupa is one of the prestigious architectural designs of ancient Rakhine people.
Htokekanthein stupa is situated atop 30-feet small hill, west of Shytethaung Pagoda. It is somewhat like a stupa. Big ordination hall is surrounded by four small ordination halls. Floors paved with stone slabs; ceilings roofed with stone slabs and arched with stone slabs. 190 feet long from south to north and 200 feet wide from east to west, the height of the stupa is 60 feet. The stupa is surrounded by walls from all sides. There is a single entrance to a cave with spirally clockwise two-storied circular paths. There are small 146 cave temples with square bases on the cave walls. Cave circular paths and a room where monks held ceremonies at ancient times at the end of the Buddhist Lent. That room leads to the central chamber for the use of the Buddha. Along the cave pathway, the Buddha statuettes are sculpted in small caves. At the end of the circular path are halls for prayers and big Image of Buddha. At the back of the Stupa is adjacent to meditation hall. Inside the Stupa, there are labyrinthine small and big caves in which Rakhine traditional clothes are sculpted. That is why Shytethaung and Htokekanthein in Mrauk-U vividly describe how ancient Rakhine people’s styles of dresses, musical instruments, styles and gestures of dancing are highly beneficial for researchers. These ancient structures can be regarded as cultural museums where one can study ancient Rakhine traditions and customs.
There is a wonderful view from Htokekanthein Stupa; Andaw Pagoda, Yadana Manaung Pagoda, Shytethaung Stupa, Yadanabon Pagoda and Laymyitngar; Pagoda come into your views for worshipping. After Thingyan Water Festival, Shytethaung and Htokekanthein Stupas and Andawthein and five Pagoda have held successive pagoda festivals yearly. Therefore Buddhist devotees are strongly urged to pay a visit to Mrauk-U , a land rich with Rakhine Cultural heritage.Translated by Arakan Sein

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