Shwegugyi Pagoda

Shwegugyi Pagoda

Shwegugyi Pagoda was built by King Alaung Sithu during A.D 1141. This pagoda is located near the entrance of the Royal Palace therefore also known as Nan Oo Paya in Myanmar. Shwegugyi Pagoda was built on top of a 13 feet high platform giving it an impression like a mushroom coming out of the ground. It is facing towards the north of Bagan. It lies on the north of Thabyinnyu Pagoda.

It is a cave Pagoda with a Sikhara on the top facing north. The wall of the brick plinth was adorned with glazed tiles of green color. There used to be plaster moldings presenting Deva figures in row. But now only three remain on the southern side. At the north- west corner of the chamber there is a stone stairway leading to the top. All along the base of the pagoda and the terraces are found decorative glazed tiles of green color. still in good condition.

Inside the image house. four Buddha images of brick and cement backing one another are seated around the central pillar. There are two inscribed stone slabs inlaid in the wall of the northern entrance.

Wood carving

At the devotional halls on the east. west. and south sides and the vaulted corridor joining the main building are the big wooden door leaves dedicated by King Bayint Naung (A.D. 1551—81) who renovated Shwegugyi Pagoda. during his pilgrimage there. On the door leaves are found beautiful carvings of birds. On the east side only one door leaf survives.

Mural painting

The original fresco on the walls of the main building are visible but only faintly owing to lime wash over .them. After chemical cleaning they will appear in their original colors. The paintings above the great Buddha Image in the northern image house belong to the Kon Baung Period. There are 13 lines of ink inscription of the same period found on the wall left side of the .said image. Myanmar chronicles say that King Alaung Sithu. being seized by illness in his old age. was moved to this Pagoda where he died. King Bayint Naung. the "founder of the second Myanmar Empire renovated and embellished Shwegugyi Pagoda in the Sakarit year 913 (A.D. 1551). He also set up a stone pillar at the south-west corner of the devotional hall. It bears eleven lines of inscription. dated Sakarit year 913. The inscription says that; " When the king's elder brother became king. he repaired and built monasteries and monuments in his kingdom. He let the tax collectors levy only normal rate. Should they overtax. they are destroying Buddha Sasana. as well as persecuting the public. the clergy and laymen."