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Pahtothamya Gu Phaya (ပုထိုးသားများဂူဘုရား)

Burmese. Name of a so-called gu or cave temple in Old Bagan. According to historical and popular belief, the temple is assumed to be one of five temples built by the non-historical King Taungthugyi Min (931 to 964 AD), who is also known as Nyaung-u Sawrahan, though some archeologists assert that it was built by King Sawlu in line with the wall paintings, which date back to only the 11th century. Certain is that it was renovated during the reign of King Kyansittha (1084 to 1113 AD). It is modeled after the temples found in Thaton, which also have numerous Mon-style paintings on the inside. The edifice has a square floor plan of 30 by 30 meters and a height of 26 meters, whilst on the east is a 17 meter long hallway. The interior of this single-storey building is dimly lit, which is typical of the early Pyu-influenced temples, that typically have with small, lattice-like windows made with bricks. The main hall is topped by a lotus-bud sikhara, which is now slightly slanting due to the weight of time. The remnants of the paintings along the interior passages may rate as the earliest surviving murals in Bagan. The first part of the name is pronounced pahtu or pahtoe, rather than pahto, what the given transliteration suggests, and is the architectural term used for a stupa with a vaulted base. See also TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.