Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Myanmar discovery circuit - Day 3 (late afternoon) - Mingun, the Hsinbyume pagoda, also known as the Myatheindan pagoda - The 14th of November 2015

Upon entering the Myatheindan pagoda we came across some young girls selling flower garlands and the fact that they were rather sweet in their approach made me feel tempted to buy some as offerings to Buddha, which I did.

The Myatheindam pagoda built in 1816 by Prince Baguyidaw, successor to the throne of King Bodawpaya is architecturally very different from any of the pagodas we had seen so far and to my knowledge any other pagoda in Myanmar. The base of its circular structure is meant to be a representation of the seven mountain ranges surrounding Mount Neru, the centre of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. the seven tiered concentric base shaped like waves contains niches, some of which with small statues of mythical figures.

Once we walked up the first steep flight of stairs we  came across a gold spire enshrining a Buddha image and if we continued walking around the terraces we had a magnificent view over the river.

The whole atmosphere was quiet, there weren't but just a few local worshippers and the silent "flower" vendor girls silently following us. The whitewashed structure, the numerous pinnacles and the surrounding landscape gave it a peaceful "framing" environment. 

One of the girls asked me to take her photo in a rather strange sort of posture, which she identified as a "model-like"attitude. I feel it won't take long till those "naïve" young girls will be influenced by the so called "Western" civilization, a lot more focused on the exterior than the "inner self", which will be a pity.

To go back to the boat anchoring area we had to go across the village having seen local artefacts and paintings depicting the day-to-day life of the Burmese on both sides of the main road, some of which were rather unique.

By the time we "set sail" it was getting darker but for some sort of strange reason the boat trip seems not to have taken that long.

The rather  discreet sunset colour took over  the sky as we approached Mandalay and it did it as discreetly as the people of Mingun ...


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