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Kuthodaw Pagoda: The World’s Largest Book

Kuthodaw Pagoda: The World’s Largest Book



Situated at the base of the southeast stairways of the Mandalay Hill, Burma, Kuthodaw Pagoda remains one of the most well-known Buddhist stupas here, primarily as it contains the world’s largest book in it. The iconic stupa modeled on Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung U near Bagan is brilliantly glided above the terraces and is around 57 m high. There are 729 caves with stone inscriptions with each of them consisting of a marble slab that is engraved on both its sides with a page of the text from the Tipitaka that makes up for the complete Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. Taken together, they form the entire sacred texts of Theravada Buddhism.

The white Sagyin Hill marble found just a few miles away to the north of Mandalay was used to create the aforementioned slabs.

Maha Lawka Marazein Paya is often referred to as the world’s largest book. King Mindon had built it at the same time when he had started construction work on the Royal Palace. The carving work had started early in the year 1860 and had been continued till 1869. Work was conducted in a special hall within the Royal Palace of King Mindon. Each of the slabs is around 15 cm thick and 5 feet by 3.5 feet wide. The pages would actually reach a staggering 340 feet height if put vertically and would cover up an area of 1 acre if placed horizontally. The pagoda acts as an unmistakable remnant of the Burmese artwork and persistence.

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