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Tuyintaung Zedi (တုရင်တောင်စေတီ)

Burmese. Tuyin Hill Pagoda. Name of a Buddhist temple in the Bagan region and built by King Anawrahta (fig.), the 42nd ruler of the Pagan dynasty and a zealous convert to Theravada Buddhism. The bell-shaped, gilded zedi was completed in 1059 AD, i.e. the year 421 of the Burmese Era, and reportedly enshrines a tooth relic of the Buddha, that originated from Ceylon as a gift from King Vizaraba of Sri Lanka. The bell-shaped, gilded stupa is built atop the center of an octagonal platform, which at the base is surrounded by 32 statues of White Elephants. This temple is one of four temples (fig.) entwined in the Shwe Daw Lay Su legend of King Anawratha, which asserts that the King was given some tooth relics of the Buddha, which were placed on the back of a White Elephant to determine an appropriate spot to built a pagoda to house these relics. As legend has it, the White Elephant halted at four different locations and the King later had stupas built at each of those spots, thus besides Tuyintaung Zedi resulting in the construction of also Tantkyitaung Zedi (fig.), Shwezigon Phaya (fig.), and Lawkananda Zedi (fig.). According to popular Burmese believe, if pilgrims to the relics are able to visit all four of these holy places in a single morning, their wishes will be fulfilled. See MAP.