Sanda Muhni Phara Gri Kyaung Taik

Rakhine State

The highlight at this hilltop monastery, and the temple's namesake, is the Sanda Muhni, a buddha statue said to have been cast from the precious metal left over from making the Mahamuni buddha. Legend has it that this 4ft-high image was encased in concrete in the 1850s to protect it from pillaging British troops, and then forgotten about for over a century. In April 1988 one of the glazed eyes dropped out, revealing the metal statue beneath.

The main hall is packed with more ancient buddha images that the monks will happily explain to you. They will also point out a large copper roof tile (now used as a table top), saved from Mrauk U’s palace after the Burmese carted the rest off to Mandalay back in the 18th century.

Next door, a small elevated structure – not open to the public – is home to Buddha’s many scattered molars, relics brought here from Sri Lanka in the 16th century.

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