The legend says. the third king of Bagan. Pyusawhti (AD 162-243). got rid of the gourd-like climbing plant "bu" that infested the riverbanks. before becoming the king. He was rewarded by his predecessor. Thamuddarit. the founder of Bagan (AD 108) together with the hand of his daughter and the heir to the throne of Bagan. He then in the commemoration of his good luck built a gourd-shaped pagoda on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River.
This cylindrical Pyu-style stupa is said to be the oldest in Bagan. Bupaya was completely destroyed when it tumbled into the river in the 1975 earthquake. but has since been totally rebuilt. The distinctively shaped bulbous stupa stands above rows of crenellated terraces. The view from the river is also a breath-taking one.