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Pagan; being the first connected account in English of the 11th century capital of Burma, with the history of a few of its most important pagodas online

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PAGAN.

Being the first connected account in English of

the Uth Century Capital of Burma,

with the History of a few of its

most important Pagodas.



BY

C. M. ENRIQUEZ, Captain,

2IST Punjabis,

(THEOPHILUS.)



AUTHOR OF



The Pathan Borderland, The Realm of the
Gods, Etc.



Consul of the United States of Amf^cA



IRanooon :

PRINTED AT THE HANTHAWADDY PRESS.
I914.






TO THE MEMORY OF

SHIN ARAHAN'

Apostle of Buddhism to Upper Burma in 1057 a. d.

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED.



^ff 1^ ^






I See page 12 and 13.



INTRODUCTION
AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT.



1AM indebted to M. Duroiselle, of the Archaeolo-
gical Department, for the greater part of the
information regarding Pagan, contained in these
pages. He has also done me the kindness of person -
ally correcting and revising my work, which I
therefore believe contains few serious errors.
M. Duroiselle himself intends soon to publish a
complete and scientific account of the ruins in a
popular form. Not only the tourist, but most
residents too of long standing in Burma, have, I
am sure, felt the need for information as they
wandered aimlessly amidst this labyrinth of pagodas,
whose very antiquity is a veil, drawn apparently
for ever, across their past history. Fortunately,
that history is not really lost. But it is not yet
easily accessible to the public. The legends and
traditions which, when judiciously pieced together,
go to make comprehensive history, are at present
locked away in the brains of a few men, who have
drawn them with infinite labour from unpromis-
ing looking inscriptions which have been found, here
and there, on slabs and pillars, amongst the ruins.
Until M. Duroiselle's much needed work is complete,
and there must necessarily be delay in its production,
I am in hopes that this present account of Pagan,
slight and incomplete though it is, may have its
uses.

C. M. ENRIQUEZ, Captain.

Pakokku, 2ist Punjabis^

Upper Burma, (Theophilus)



INDEX.



The subjects referred to in this index are printed in
large type in the text, to facilitate reference.





Page,




Page


^sop's Fables


25


Makara


33


Agates


29


Manuha (King) ... 10,


", 34


Age of Monuments


7


Manuha Pagoda


10


Alaung Si Thu. (King) 8,


14, 18


Marco Polo


14. 17


Ananda Pagoda ... 3,


12, 18


Mi Malaung Kyaung ...


2


Anawrata (King)


8, 9 i


Mingalazedi Pagoda 3,


15, 16,


Ari


13 '




24,25


Attitudes (of Buddha figures)




Mother Earth


28


and note


28


Museum


27


BidagatTaik


10


Naga Yon Pagoda


14


Brahma


II


Nan Paya (Pagoda)


10


Bricks


15,16


Nan Taun Mya (King) ...


31


Buddha Gaya


3,8


Narabadi-Zithu


7


Buddhist Scriptures


10


Nats


12, 13


Bu Paya


7


Nat Hlaung Kyaung ...


4


Burying alive sacrifice ...


19


Nepaulese Influence ...


2,36


Chan-Tu-kua


18


Northern Indian Influence


3


Chinese influence at Pagan,


2, 34


Onhmin (Cave Temple)...


3h 32


Chinese invasion of Burma


14, t5


Otasaun


33


Cingalese influence at




Pagoda building


14,38


Pagan


2,5


Pagoda, development of


4.42


City Wall and Gate


18


Palace


18


Coins


34


Pato-thamya Pagoda ...


10


Consecration by Water ...


II


Petleik Pagoda


25,26


Damayan Gyi Pagoda ...


14,30


Plaques


23,24


Development of the Pagoda


4,42


Popa Mo u n t a i n


13


Era. (Burmese)


32


(note I)


29


liarth touching attitude ...


28


Portrait Statuary


12


Final Abandonment of




Prome ... '


7


Pagan


15


Paya (meaning of word)


7


First Pagodn built


10


Pyu language


27


Flamboyant Gates


6


Sakya Muni (Pagoda) ...


32


F'oreign influence in Pagan




Sawlu (King)


8, 11


Architecture


I


Sapada Pagoda


3.5


Fossilized Wood


29


Shin Arahan


12, 13


Frog-drum


28


Siva


5.34


Gaw-da-palin Pagoda


3,6


Shan Princes


M


Gneh-man


II


Shwe-gu-gyi Pagoda ...


14, 18


Greek influence


37


Shwre San Daw Pagoda


31


Hinayana Buddhism


12


Shwezigon I'agoda ...3, 5, 10,


History of Pagan


8


13,34


, 35. 36


Htilo Minlo


31


Statuary


12


Indian influence in Pagan. 3


lo, 34


Statuary (mistakes in)




Jatakas


23,24


(niche 6)


24


KaYoPaya


16


Statuary in Ananda




Kinara


33


Pagoda ... 12, 201023


Kondawgyi


32


Sulamuni Pagoda
Tayok-pye Miri


30


Kubyaukgyi Pagoda


26


15


Kublai Khan


15. 36


Talaing influence


3.9


Kuvera


27


Talamg Pagoda


3


Kyanzittha (King) 8, it, 12


18, 19


Talaing expedition


10


Kyanzittha's Onhmin


31


Thatbyinnyu Pagoda ...


3.10


Kyauk Ku Onhmin


32


Thaton


9, 10


Lacquer Work


41


Tilo Minlo Pagoda


31


Legends


19


Treasure Seekers


39


Lawkananda I'agoda


2, 10


U Pali Thein


31


Maha Bodi Pagoda


3. 24


Vandalism


25, 26


Mahayana Buddhism


12


Vishnavites


5



A NOTE FOR TOURISTS.



Ferry boats call daily at Pagan (Fridays excepted).
Mail boats, which ply up and down the river twice a week,
do not touch actually at Pagan, but at Nyaung-U, which
is 5 miles distant from the bungalow. Post and Telegraph
Offices are at Nyaung-U. There is a good bungalow at
Pagan ; and the khansamah can supply meals.

An index has been especially inserted in this book lor
the use of tourists.



SCHEME FOR SIGHT SEEING.



FIRST DAY.
Morning. — (En route from Nyaung-U to the Bungalow,)

Shwezigon : Tilo Minlo: U Pali Thein.
Afternoon. — Gaw-da-palin : Ananda (easy walk from

bungalow). Museum. 15 hours.

SECOND DAY.

Morning.— (Out along south road) Minglazedi : Nan Paya :
Manuha : Naga Yon : Petleik. The Pet-
leik is about ^ miles from the bungalow. If
you go only as far as the Naga Yon, the
expedition is much shorter. Ponies necessary.
2 to 3 hours.

Afternoon.— Thatbyin Nyu : Shwe-gu-gyi : Bidagat
(Librar>'): Nat Hlaung Kyaung: Pato-tha-
mya : Mi Malaung Kyaung: (A walking
expedition. Ponies not necessary). li hours.

THIRD DAY.
Morning. — Shwe San Daw Paya : Damayan Gyi : Sula-

muni : and Ananda again. Ponies necessary.

i^ hours.
Afternoon. — Maha Bodi : Bu Paya : and any you may

care to re-visit. Best to have ponies, but not

really necessary.



( vii )
PAGAN.



Anawrata, Kyan;jittha, ^ Burma's pride,
Great Kings were they, who ruled in ancient days ;
Who made Pagan, and spread its frontiers wide
To distant China, and to the Malays.

They built great shrines, which still are beautiful,
Gathering the arts of Ind and far Nepaul.
Artists they sought from China and Thaton,
Moulders of plaques, and painters on the wall.

Spires of gold, mounted on high Shikharas,^
Raising to Heaven a crown of many bells.
Gates from Cambodia, Indian Shrines, viharas.
The best in every style, Pagan excels.

Pato-tha-mya, " Mother of many a son " :— 3
Gaw-da-palin, Gla-zedi and Ananda ;
All these belong to different schools, each one
A gem divine, are architectural wonder.

Long ages dead, those proud, vain kings, who raised
Payas* of graceful poise, and shining bright with gold ;
Far famed, and though the East their beauty praised,
While Marco Polo in the West their riches told.

Who has not heard of the fabulous reigns,

Now spoken of still in tradition and lore.

Of the Kings of Pagan, who built temples and fanes,

And conquered their neighbours in strenuous war ?

Long dead are those kings, and decaying their shrines,
Which proudly they raised to honour the Budh.
But still, here and there, an Ananda still shines
As beautiful yet, as when first it was made.

1. Pronounced respectively A-na-ra-ta and Chanzittha.

2. The pointed Indian dome is called • Shikhara.'

3. See page 10. The Pato-tha-mya is believed to have been the first
pagoda built at Pagan. The name means "many son one ", and suggests
that it is mother of all the rest.

* Paya means pagoda.



( viii )

Dim now are those glories. The Law is fulfilled.
" Anicca " (all die), and " Anatta" (all pass)'
To destruction, to ruin. All vanity killed.
The Buddha has taught us that nothing can last.

In the hearts of the Buddhas the people of old
Placed jewels, to witness their pious oaths sworn.
For ages, thieves seeking this treasure and gold,
The hearts from the breasts of the Buddhas have torn.

Even so have all nations perverted the Truth,
Stealing its lustre for Gods of their own.
But the gilding has faded, revealing their worth :
The Law of the Buddha still glitters alone.

Crumbling and frail are the things of this Earth
The wheel in revolving brings ruin and rust.
The power of princes and men has no worth.
Alone in the Law, should humanity trust.



I The Buddhist formula runs :— Anicca (you must die): Dukkha (you
will not be free from pain) :— Anatta (there is nothing permanent).



PAGAN



The prevailing impression left on the mind after
visiting Pagan is one of astonishment, that so much
human energy should have been devoted to a cause
so futile. Nor is this true only of Pagan. Think
of the Buddhist statuary and architecture of ancient
Gandhara,^ the miles of useless prayer walls and
chortens of Tibet, the costly Buddhist monuments of
China and Japan, and the countless pagodas of
Burma, whose number is being daily added to. All
1hese monuments represent the misdirected piety of
generations. The out-put of useless buildmgs is still
enormous in all Buddhist countries. Such works
cannot even claim the merit of developing the arts, ^^^^ ^^
for the original models of Gandhara, the prototypes
so far as Buddha figures go, of all Buddha figures.,
throughout Asia, have been slavishly copied for twoj
thousand years. Yet, admitting all this as true of
the ancient Burmese city of Pagan, the beauty of
those innumerable pagodas, their antiquity, their
simple majesty, commands our admiration. You
cannot help sympathizing with the motive which, in
all but a few selfish cases, actuated the founders — a
desire to honour the Master, and to go on repeating
such works of merit, till fresh generations were ready J
to carry them on.

Pagan, the ancient capital of Burma, is of
special interest, because of the introduction into its
architecture of foreign elements. It was the resort
of men from all parts of Asia. A stone inscription
(translated by Mr. Taw Sein Ko) tells us that the

I N . W. Indian Frontier.



( ^ )

bay near the Lawkananda pagoda was visited by
the ships of many nations. There were at least
five different foreign countries whose influence is
strongly represented. These may be conveniently
arranged as follows : —

a. Nepaulese influence, or to speak more ac-

curately Nepaulese-Chinese influence.
How, or why, it came to Pagan, is a
matter for speculation. / .But it is un-
doubtedly present, and is to be recognis-
ed in those monuments which have many
roofs, rising pagoda-wise, one above the
other. The horizontal lines are not
quite straight, but are curved slightly
upwards at the ends. Examples are the
Mi Malaung Kyaung, Bidagat Taik,
an old monastery at the gate of the
Ananda, and the red brick buildings in
the Court of the Shwezigon.

b. Chinese influence. Different opinions are

held as to the amount of Chinese influ-
ence in Pagan (see page 35), but it is
probable that there is less than some
people like to suppose. The chief source
of inspiration was India and not China.
By the time the Chinese conquest of
Burma in 1284 A. D., was completed.
Pagan was already tottering to its ruin.
Bits of Chinese bronze, porcelaine and
pottery are found in the soil from time
to time.

c. Cingalese influence. There are a few

pagodas in Pagan built like those



( 3 )

ot Ceylon. The distinctive mark is a
square platform, (called the amrita
kalasa), above the main mass of the
pagoda. From this again, rises the
shikara. Example, the Sapada pagoda
near the Shwezigon. Also a pagoda
quite close to the Bu Paya. (see fig. lo
on page 5).
d. Northern Indian influence. This is strong-
er than any other, and is responsible
for the pointed, Hindu shaped domes,
called shikaras, which are so plentiful in
Pagan. The prototypes are of course
the temples of Orissa. Some of the
finest pagodas belong to this class, such
as the Gaw-da-palin, the Thatbyin-nyu,
the Ananda, and the Maha-Bodi. The
Maha Bodi pagoda at Pagan is by no
means an imposing building, but it is
interesting as being one of the only two
existing copies (the other is in Nepaul)
of the temple at Buddha Gaya. It is an
exact replica, but on a smaller scale.
e. Pure Talaing. All the rounded, or bell-like
pagodas, owe their shape to Talaing
influence. The Shwe-zigon and the
Mingala-zedi are examples.

The rounded Talaing pagoda is of course derived
from the ancient hemispherical stupa^ of ancient

I. Mr. Taw Sein Ko traces the round Pagoda to the Chinese tower,
but that is not the opinion generally accepted by Archaeologists.
See page 35.



( 4 ^

India'. It is quite easy to trace the development of
the pagoda step by step down the ages. Fig. i on the
opposite page illustrates the original hemispherical
Indian stupa. Fig. 2, dates from 269 to 232 B. C, the
Asoka period, and shows the hemisphere placed on
a square base. Fig. 3 shows the addition of the
' hti ' or crown, consisting of 7 or g round slabs of
stone, mounted one above the other on a pole, and
about a foot above each other. The rings round th^
upper part of the modern pagoda are derived from
this ' hti '. Fig. 4 shows the hemisphere mounted
on two or three bases. Fig. 5 is the elongated
hemisphere dating from the 4th centur\' A. D. This
is a picture of the Bodogyi, at Prome. These elong-
ated pagodas at Prome are considered the link
between the Stupa of India and the pagoda of Burma.
Fig. 6 The bulbous. Still archaic. 7th cent. A. D.
This is the Bu Paya at Pagan. Fig. 7. The
squat dome, dating from the nth century A. D. This
is the Shwe-zigon at Pagan. Fig. 8. The bell
shaped pagoda, being an elongated and more grace-
ful development of the ' squat '. This is the Shwe
Dagon at Rangoon. J 5th century. Fig. g. is a still
more elongated style, belonging to the i8th and igth
centuries. This is a modern pagoda near the
landing stage at Nyaung-U.

There are traces of Hinduism in Pagan, and
this is hardly surprising when we realise how inti-
mate the communication with India must have been.
The Nat Halaung Kyaung was at first believed to
be dedicated to Nat worship, but an inscription has
since been found which proves it to be a Hindu temple,
built by a merchant of Southern India for the use



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( 5 )



of his fellow Vishnuvites. An image of Vishnu,
riding his vehicle, the Garuda,^ is carved inside.
There are niches outside, in which it is supposed
that images of the ten Avatars, or incarnations of
Vishnu, were placed. There are two images of
Siva in the Shwe-zigon.

The Sapada Pagoda, near the Shwe-zigon is a

good instance of Cingalese influence in Pagan.

This influence (as men-
Fig 10. ^

tioned above on page 2.
, C.) is recognised by a

square platform, called the
' amrita kalasa', on the
top of the round dome.^
Above the square plat-
form, rises the final
shikara. The Sapada
pagoda derives its name
from the priest Sapada
who built it, and who
_,^^^ was so called

^^- on account of
his big toes be-
ing from birth
split in two,
so that he had
six toes {c/iar, ipsdi six: and pada, footed). He
lived at the end of the 12th century, and went to

1. The Garuda is a Demi-God, half man, half bird. It is the special
vehicle of Vishnu.

2. In Indian topes, relics are buried at the base of the building ; but
in the Cingalese pagoda they are placed high up in the rectangular base
(the real dhatu-gabbha) under the pinnacle— Burma Research Society.
Journal, June igi2. Vol. II, page 74.

Lawrenr." c. Briggs,
consul oftheUmted States of Anymti^a




Square platform distinctive of Cingalese pagodas.
Sapada— a Cingalese Pagoda.
(Pagan. End 12th Cent.)



( 6 )

Ceylon to study Buddhism. On his return he built
this pagoda on the Cingalese plan. The king,
wished to raise Sapada to the highest priestly rank,
but was prevented from doing so by the Buddhist
rule forbidding the promotion of any priest with a
bodily deformity.

The Gaw-da-palin is one of the hnest pagodas
in Pagan. It rises like a great Cathedral on the
bank of the Irrawaddy. Its weather-worn plaster^
grey here and black there, gives it a restful appear-
ance of antiquity. It is of course Northern Indian in
type, but Burmese style has asserted itself strongl}'
in the details ; and the combination of the two is
very pleasing. The straight, pointed saw-teeth
flames of the ' flamboyant gates ' are Burmese, as dis-
tinct from the more curved and flame-like sort, which
are Cambodian. It will be observed from the illus-
trations that in the Gaw-da-palin, and also in the
Thatbyin-nyu, two cubes rise one above the other,
with the shikhara, or dome, placed over them. The
upper and smaller cube, is entirely a Burmese idea.
It is not found in the prototypes of Orissa. Again,,
the arches on the face of the building, fig. n.
and the half-arches of the inner corri-
dors are worthy of notice. The full
arch of this type is found only in the
architecture of ancient Persia and
Chinese Turkestan ; but the half arch
(fig. 1 1) of the corridors inside the
Ananda and Gaw-da-palin is essen-
tially Burmese.

A peculiarity of the big Pagan pagodas is that
they are not solid throughout, like most Burmese



ff]


1


i


Y


The ha!f-archcd


corridors inside


the Ana


nda.



( 7 )

pagodas. The}- have lofty, circumambuhitory corri-
dors running round them, inside. On each of the four
faces of the building there is a large entrance, with a
Buddha figure facing it. In such cases as the Gavv-
da-palin and the Thatbyin-nyu, there is another
colossal Buddha in the upper story, seated in a big
hall. These great Buddhas are now old and ruined,
and sadly desecrated by treasure hunters. But in
spite of this, they are still beautiful, and are affect-
ionately decorated by pilgrims with patches of gold
leaf. The Gaw-da-palin Paya is about 750 years
old. It was built by King Narabadi-zithu. I should
perhaps explain that the word ' Paya,' means ' lord.'
It is a title given to pagodas, monks and Buddha
images ; and has been assumed by several Burmese
Kings. Novv-a-days it is in more general use, being
applied even to masters by their servants. The Bur-
mese word ' paya ' is the same as the Siamese * pra.'

M. Duroiselle of the Archaeological Depart-
ment is of opinion that most of the monuments of
Pagan are not anterior to the i ith century. Accor-
ding to the credited Burmese histories, Pagan was.
founded in 850 A. D., but it is thought that the
pagoda-building craze did not begin until 1057 A.D,
Some authorities believe that the Bu Paya is seven-
teen hundred years old. Its bulbous shape is cer-
tainly archaic, but the Bu Paya is probably a copy
of older pagodas in Prome. '

Prome flourished very early in the Christian
era, and was a place of importance in the 2nd
century A. D. Its elongated pagodas (fig 5,) as men-
tioned above, are considered an intermediate link

See figure 6.



( 8 )

between the stupas of ancient India, (fig i) and the
squat Burmese pagodas of the nth century, such as
the Shvve-zigon (fig. 7).

The history of Pagan is almost hopelessly mixed
up with legend. But certain characters stand out
clearly. Pagan was at the height of its prosperity
during four reigns, namely those of Anawrata^ (A. D.
1044), Sawlu (A. D. 1077), Kyanzittha^ (A. D.
1084) and Alaungsithu (A. D., 11 12). According
to Phayre, this last king had repairs carried out at
the temple at Buddha Gaya in India.^

The dates given above are those considered
correct by the present Government Archaeologist, M.
Duroivselle, and are probably exact. There are, how-
ever, other chronological lists of the Pagan dynasty
published in the Burma Research Society's Journal,
which are worth quoting. The discrepancies,
though considered important by careful students,
are not serious so fcir as the reading Public is con-
cerned.

Journal June igii, Vol. i, page 83. (Authority,
Grant Brown.)

THE PAGAN DYNASTY.

Anawrata (loio) to Kyawzwa (1279) A.D.

Anawrata loio A.D.

Saw Lu 1052 „

Kyanzittha 1057 ,,

Alaungsithu 1085 „

1. Pronounced A-narata.

2. Pronounced ' Chanzittha.'

3. Phayre's " History of Burma " page 40.



( 9 )

The Pagan Dynasty — continued.

Min-shinzaw ii


1 3 4