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Win Ga Bar (ဝင်္ကပါ)

Burmese. ‘Maze’ or ‘Labyrinth’. Name of a brick Buddhist temple structure in Inwa, located adjacent to and to the west of Myinmo Taung (fig.). It dates from the Ava Period and consist of a large brick, two-storied building on a high brick plinth. There are entrances on the south and the west, while there are nine windows on each side, set in three rows. It is rather rectangular in form and has been shaped as a giant lotus, with flower petals all along the outer walls. Inside, there is a maze of passage ways, with small halls and some niches, and four well out of sight and narrow staircases, one at each corner, that have been incorporated into the thick brick walls. In the centre, there is a square room with three entrances. On the first floor, there are two corridors running around the central room, with a stairway that lead to the rooftop, which offers rewarding views of the area, including of the nearby Lawka Dotha Mahn Aung Pagoda (fig.) and Mount Meru (fig.). The so-called Maze Monastery was built by King Maha Dhamma Razadhippadi, whose nine wives built the Nine Queens' Pagodas (fig.), apparently as a more lasting model of the typical large labyrinths annually built out of bamboo nationwide, habitually during the Full Moon pagoda festival in the month of Tazaungmone, i.e. November, with at its center a Buddha image, which visitors had to reach as a challenge in order to pay homage. Also transliterated Win Ga Ba. See TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.