The Gubyaukgyi Temple: Some Facts
The Gubyaukgyi Temple is situated close to the Wetkyi-in village- just left to the road while entering Myinkab. Gubyaukgyi bears a striking resemblance to Indian temples especially with its Indian-styled spire like that of the Mahabodhi Paya in Bagan. Built way back in the year 1113 by Rajakumar (Kyanzittha’s son), this religious masterpiece has frescoes that relate scenes from Jatakas.
The temple is principally known for the series of paintings, believed to have been preserved from the time of original construction of the masterpiece. They are also counted as among the oldest in Bagan.
The creator, Prince Rajakumar was the son of a niece of a monk and King Kyanzittha. He had built the temple on his father’s death. Kyanzittha had come across the woman (i.e. King Rajakumar’s mother) when he was a refugee. Though the throne rightly belonged to Rajakumar, King Kyanzittha had elected his grandson Alaungsithu as the heir. Rajakumar had also given up his right.
The temple, it can be said, is among the most well-preserved of the Bagan masterpieces. One is actually struck by the impeccably maintained stuccowork on the exterior walls. The designs are flawlessly intricate– an unfailing reminder of the refined Burmese artwork. The huge shrine room is connected to an antechamber. The quintessential Mon touch is reflected by the dimly lit interiors filled with small perforations instead of large sized windows. The keepers of the temple can be requested to open the temple as it generally remains locked.
The temple, at times, is also called Wetkyi-in Gubyaukgyi.