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Gawdawpalin Phaya (ကန်တော့ပလ္လင်ဘုရား)

Burmese. Pagoda of the Worshipped Throne. Name of an 11th Century AD Buddhist temple in Old Bagan. It was built by King Narapati Sithu (r. 11741211) after building the Sulamani Phaya (fig.). However, the king demised before its construction was completed in 1227 AD, during the reign of his son King Zeya Theinkha Uzana (r. 12111235), who is also known as Htilominlo and Nadaungmya (Nantaungmya). Gawdawpalin Phaya is circa 55 meters high and the second tallest temple in Bagan, two storeys tall and with three lower and four upper terraces. It is a gu-style temple and similar in layout to Sabbannu Phaya (fig.) and Sulamani Phaya. It has a square floorplan, designed with porticoes on all four sides, yet with the eastern portico projecting outwardly further than the others and being the main entrance. On the ground floor, there is a ambulatory that runs around a central block, which has Buddha images against all of its four sides. There is a story saying that King Narapati Sithu became so powerful and proud that he proclaimed that his powers were more glorious than those of his ancestors and his accomplishments unmatched. Though, just after boasting about this, he became blind and remained so until he repented for his misconduct and paid obeisance to his ancestors in atonement. See MAP.