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Dhammayazika Pagoda: Unconventionality Redefined

Dhammayazika Pagoda: Unconventionality Redefined

Dhammayazika Pagoda

The Dhammayazika Pagoda, a Buddhist Temple is situated in the village of Pwasaw, in the east of Bagan. King Narapatisithu had built this in the year 1196 or 1198 (there are conflicting reports regarding the year of the establishment of the temple). The brick pagoda is circular in shape and has three terraces comprising terra cotta tiles bearing the Jataka scenes. The name Dhammarajika or Dhammayazika means “Pertaining the King of Law” in Pali.

One of the most striking of the temple’s features is the pentagonal terraces that mark a clear change from the usual square terraces of the Bagan pagodas. The placing of the statues of Buddha marks a significant drift in style as well. The pagodas of Bagan usually have four statues of Buddha facing cardinal directions and representing the four Buddhas who have already attained Nirvana in the present world cycle. The Dhammayazika Pagoda, however, has embraced a completely different style whereby on each side of the temple there is a small temple with a statue of Buddha in it. The fifth temple is placed with the future evolving Buddha.

The three terraces are adorned by the glossy plaques carrying the Jataka tales. The five names of Buddha thus placed are:

  • Kakusandha
  • Konagamana
  • Kassapa
  • Gotama
  • Metteyya


This clearly marks for one of the most notable tourist attractions of Bagan owing to its clear unconventional architectural style (considering the styles of the temples built during that period). So it’s advisable that you include it in your Bagan (Myanmar) itinerary without fail.


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