Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Three royal buildings in Mandalay to be restored

A K1500-million project to restore a vital part of Mandalay’s royal heritage is being planned.

A historical photograph of the Thudhamma Zayats building in Mandalay. (Supplied)A historical photograph of the Thudhamma Zayats building in Mandalay. (Supplied)

Craftsmen will use traditional Myanmar building methods to restore three historic buildings from the era of King Mindon, a planning meeting was told on February 23.

The three buildings are the Pahtan-haw Shwe Thein high ordination hall, the Thudhamma Zayats and Pitakat Taik Taw, the Buddhist scripture library.

In 1857, King Mindon founded a new royal capital at the foot of Mandalay Hill, based around seven royal buildings sited on the advice of astrologers. All but the moat and the Kuthodaw Pagoda were destroyed by fire in the war of 1890.

The Atumashi Monastery has since been rebuilt as a faithful replica of the original, and the royal wall has been repaired.

The three remaining structures will now be renovated under the supervision of Thetagu Sayardaw U Nyanissara and Tampawaddy U Win Maung. Thetagu Sayardaw is a monk known for his public work, including hefty donations for the building of a water supply system in Sagaing Region, a 100-bed hospital for monks, nuns, novices and poor people in Sagaing and the construction of the International Buddhist Academy.

Tampawaddy U Win Maung is a famous Myanmar traditional architect, whose works can be seen in a number of pagoda restorations in Bagan and Sagaing.

“I’m very grateful to have the chance to take part in renovating these three historic buildings. I will dedicate the work to my grandparents, who looked after me when I was young,” U Kyaw Than, who is funding the renovations, said at the meeting on the planned renovation at the Warso Monastery on February 23.

Thetagu Sayadaw U Nyanissara said the task of renovating buildings central to Mandalay’s history would be huge.

Tampawaddy U Win Maung said he would consult contemporary pictures and other historical references in carrying out the renovation.

Mandalay Regional Prime Minister U Ye Myint said: “Mandalay is the ancient royal city and stands at the heart of Myanmar’s traditions. MCDC is responsible for preserving Myanmar’s traditions in Mandalay Region.”