Mahazedi Paya

Myanmar (Burma)

The design of this 'Great Stupa', with its stairways leading high up the structure, is unusual for southern Myanmar and certainly one of Bago's more attractive religious buildings. Originally constructed in 1560 by King Bayinnaung, it was destroyed during the 1757 sacking of Bago. An 1860 attempt to rebuild it was unsuccessful and more damage was done by the great earthquake of 1930. This current reconstruction was completed in 1982.

The Mahazedi originally contained a Buddha tooth, at one time thought to be the most sacred of all Buddha relics – the tooth of Kandy, Sri Lanka. After Bago was conquered in 1539, the tooth was moved to Taungoo and then to Sagaing near Mandalay. Together with a begging bowl supposed to have been used by the Buddha, it remains in the Kaunghmudaw Paya, near Sagaing, to this day.

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