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Sutaungpyay Phaya (ဆုတောင်းပြည့်ဘုရား) LISTEN

Burmese. ‘Pagoda of the Fulfilled Wish’ or ‘Wish-granting Pagoda’. Name of a Buddhist temple on the summit of Mandalay Hill (fig.), that was built in the 11th century AD by King Anawrahta (fig.) and towers above the city and the flat plain below. The temple has a large terrace overlooking the Royal Palace, the Irrawaddy River and the surrounding plains. The panoramic view attracts many visitors and in the evening the place gets flocked with people who come to enjoy sunset. The temple can be reached by a long staircase, which at the foot of the hill is flanked by two giant guardian lions or chinthe (map - fig.), as well as by road. Somewhere halfway up the hill there is a pavilion with a large gilded statue of the Revelation Buddha (location - fig.), known in Burmese as Byar Deik Paye Phaya. This standing Buddha image performs a unique mudra in which the Buddha is pointing his finger with an outstretched arm, a pose found only in Myanmar and which refers to a local story in which the Buddha is said to point out the land where a future kingdom was to be established. From this point it is a little further uphill to the base of the main complex from where one needs to continue barefoot, either by a stairway, an escalator or an elevator. Ascending by stairs, just before reaching the summit is a small stupa with a statue of the ogress Sanda Muhki (fig.), who is considered to be an earlier incarnation of King Mindon Min (fig.), the founder of Mandalay. Also transliterated Su Taung Pyae Phaya and Su Taung Pyi Paya. See also Phaya and MAP.