Shwegugyi Pagoda ancient inscriptions attract pilgrims during Thingyan holidays

The ancient inscriptions from the 11th to 14th century (Bagan to Pinya periods) are gathered at Shwegugyi Pagoda in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region, and pilgrims can observe them during long holidays of the Thingyan Festival.
King Anawrahta, who founded the first Myanmar Empire and made Buddhism widespread under his reign, constructed 11 Ledwin districts (Pinle, Pyinmana, Myittha, Yamon, Myingontaing, Panan, Tamoat, Thintaung, Makara, Tapyaktha and Khanlu) as fortified cities in Kyaukse plain where Samon, Sama, Zawgyi, Panlaung and Dohtawadi rivers are flowing. Those fortified cities are three in Myittha Township, five in Kyaukse Township and three in Sintgaing Township.
Tamoat old town, one of 11 districts, was located near Nyaungpinzauk village in the Kyaungpingon village-tract in the east of Panlaung River. The 25-acre wide fortress featuring a horseshoe arch was built. Tamoat Shwegugyi Temple is located near Nyaungpinzauk village on Kyaukse-TadaU Road, six miles away from the north of Kyaukse in the southeast of Tamoat old town.
It is one of nine cave temples built by King Anawrahta along the Panlaung River in the early Bagan period. King Narapatisithu rebuilt it as a double-storey cave temple in the late 12th century during the Bagan Period. The temple was decorated with inscriptions outside the temple (the grotesque art, animals and birds, humans, Nat, Brahma, and Kinnara characters). During the 684 ME Pinya period, a new temple was built with stupas and artefacts in the reign of King Oatsana, according to a pagoda history book noted by historian Maung Win Maung (Tammawady).
Tamoat Shinpin Shwegugyi Pagoda is reconstructed, uncovering mural paintings inside in artefacts, 2 feet six inches head and 10 feet high cemented stupa, floral design ogre and base-relief sculpture built by King Anawrahta, floral designs at four moats of the pagoda, head of the horse, a statue of a lion with two bodies and one mouth, a statue of an elephant head and bird body, cock, elephant, deer, horse, crocodile, fish, 550 Jataka tales sculpture, stupa, cemented scriptures, stupas, the 12th century cemented designs and Tamoat Shinpin Shwegugyi Pagoda. Ancient arts from 11 to 14 AD during the Bagan-Pindaya periods are showcased at the temple. It is written to raise awareness of the history of the temple for pilgrims from various regions so that they can flock to the temple during the long holidays of the Thingyan Festival. — Thet Maung (Kyaukse)/EM


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