Htukkanthein Temple

Htukkanthein Temple

Htukkanthein (MYname|MY=မ္ရောက္‌ဦးမ္ရုိ့), (pronounced 'Htoke-kan-thein' in Arakanese) is one of the most famous temples in the ancient Arakanese city of Mrauk U. Its name means "Cross-Beam Ordination Hall".

Like most of Mrauk U's temple, it is designed as a dual purpose 'fortress-temple'. Although it is a 'thein' (Ordination Hall), it is one of the most militaristic buildings in Mrauk U - built on raised ground, with a single entrance and small windows. According to Dr. Emil Forchhammer, an archaeologist employed by the British Raj to study Mrauk U in the late 19th Century, the temples might have been employed as a refuge for the Buddhist religious order in times of war.

The temple was built in 1571 by King Min Phalaung. It is located on a small hill a stone's throw away from the Shite-thaung Temple. At the centre of the temple is a dome topped with a mushroom shaped crown or hti, surrounded by four smaller stupas at the corners. At the facade base of the central dome is a square window designed in such a manner that, at dawn, the sun's rays shine directly onto the main Buddha image inside the central vault. At the west side of the temple is a small meditation chamber, accessible only via the main temple.

The Htukkanthein has three chambers, rotating clockwise inwards. The entire temple has a total of 180 Buddha images (179 smaller ones along the corridors, and 1 at the central vaulted chamber). The temple is counstructed of brick and stone.

See Also: List of Temples in Mrauk U

References

*"Burma's Lost Kingdoms - Splendours of Arakan" by Pamela Gutman


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