The Manuha temple: Mystic Melancholy
The Manuha temple is a Buddhist masterpiece, situated in Myinkaba, near Bagan. When King Anawrahta had come back victorious to Bagan, it was in Myinkaba that King Manuha, the captive king was brought to live. Later King Manuha had built a two storey building for himself. The three seated images of Buddha along with his another image of entering Nirvana —-grace this temple. It is counted among the oldest monuments in Bagan. Needless to mention, the temple derives its name from its creator itself.
It is believed that this white two storey temple was initially built by King Manuha to represent his melancholic state of mind (perhaps due to his captivity). The three images of Buddha are uneasily large for the frame enclosing it and, once again, are believed to symbolize the king’s mental stress due to captivity. According to the Glass Palace Chronicle, the king was “Stricken with remorse” and therefore “he built a colossal Buddha with legs crossed, and a dying Buddha as it were making pariniruâna; and he prayed saying ‘Whithersoever I migrate in samsâra, may I never be conquered by another!”
The two seated images of Buddha wear a melancholic expression on their faces, while the reclining Buddha is “smiling” and has a comparatively calmer expression. The image of the serene Buddha faces north. You can climb up atop the temple via the stairs at the entrance for a view of the reclining Buddha. He has a serene smile on his face representing that only death (nirvana) can ensure that he is free from the shackles of displeasure.