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Upali Thein: An Ordination Hall

Upali Thein: An Ordination Hall

Upali Thein

Upali Thein is categorized as an ordination hall located across the Htilominlo temple in the Nyaung U and Wetkyi-In region. It is also termed as a sima. There were many such halls called Thein in Myanmar which were used not only for the ordination ceremony but also for the confession by monks. There are some ink writings on the northern wall on the western entrance that convey the fact that Maha Yhera Upali and King Anawrahta had built and consecrated sima. This is another reason why it’s called the Upali Sima.

It is believed that this hall was named after a monk named Upali and was founded in the mid thirteenth century. The image of the Buddha is placed at the west end of this ordination hall. The hall had undergone some renovation under the reign of Konbaung Dynasty around 1794 to 1795.

The roof battlements of this rectangular structure will immediately remind you of the wooden architecture of Burma. There is a tiny central spire rising from this roof top. The arch pediments, low parapets and paintings in the interior, which feature heavily in this hall, are believed to date back to the 18th century. The vibrant frescoes of the 17th and 18th centuries have become one of the prime attractions of Upali Thein. The walls bear 28 images of the Buddha along with the scenes from His life. Presenting quite a contrast to the paneled paintings, the large vibrant murals reflect the renunciation of the world by earlier Buddhas along with the consecration of the hall by the ruler.

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