Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda – An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time

The Mingun Pahtodawgyi Pagoda is an incomplete stupa/monument held by time. You can find it at Mingun county, just 10 kilometers outside Mandalay. At first glance, the gigantic stone looks like frozen in time. And it is.

Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda - An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time Mandalay
Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda – An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time (Mandalay, Myanmar)

Standing at its facade, I had that feeling of facing a timeless treasure muted for centuries. I think those multi-colored lines/layers on the stonewall gave me that kind of feeling.

Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda - An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time Mandalay
Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda – An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time (Mandalay)

However, the structure reminded me instantly of the unfinished Al Farid. It’s a massive sandstone in the middle of the desert in Saudi Arabia.

Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda - An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time Mandalay
It’s also called Great Royal Stupa or Mantara Gyi Pagoda.

Built in the 18th century, this monument has many names. Depends on who asks, someone might call it Mingun Pagoda, Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, Great Royal Stupa, and Mantara Gyi Pagoda.

Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

In the center of this unfinished pagoda is a small, well-adorned door. Inside, visitors will see a tiny shrine with an image of a Buddha.

Mingun PahtoDawGyi Pagoda - An Incomplete Stupa Held by Time Mandalay
The shrine with an image of Buddha inside Phtodawgyi in Mandalay.

You can actually go to the top of this massive rock by taking the steps on far right. Unfortunately, when I reached the end of the stairs, the door was closed.

Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

If this sacred structure would have been finished, this could have been the country’s largest pagoda. Yes, that was the intention!

Tourist attractions in Mandalay Myanmar
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

King Bodawpaya started the construction of the pagoda but he intentionally left it unfinished. Do you know why?

Tourist attractions in Mandalay Myanmar
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

Well, due to the massiveness of the structure, it took a toll on the slaves and prisoners of war who built it. So, they created a “prophecy” to stop building it. It’s a clever idea, right? πŸ˜€

Tourist attractions in Mandalay Myanmar
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

When you are done in this pagoda, go across the street and you will find the ruins of huge Chinthes. Then, after that, walk to Mya Thein Dan White Pagoda – Myanmar’s most photogenic white pagoda!

Things to do in Mingun (Mandalay)
Things to do in Mingun (Mandalay)

Cheap Hotel in Mandalay

I stayed at Hotel Iceland. It’s a basic but nice hotel walking distance to the town centre. There are a lot of convenience shops, restaurants, and food stalls in the area. The rooms are clean and the staff members are nice. They serve breakfast on the top floor overlooking the city. You can book it via BookingTripAdvisor, and Expedia. If you are looking for a hostel, you can find it here.

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