Gubyauk Gyi

Gubyauk Gyi, Bagan 2018

The Gubyaukgyi Temple, also called Kubyaukgyi, is a Buddhist temple in Bagan. It was built in 1113 by Prince Rajakumar. The square floor plan has a porch facing east. The central shrine is surrounded by a walkway whose walls are covered with paintings from the time of construction. They are among the oldest in Bagan. The Gubyaukgyi Temple is located northeast of Old Bagan, outside the village of Nyaung U.

The temple is remarkable for two reasons. First, the large number of well-preserved frescoes. All the frescoes are accompanied by ink inscriptions written in Alt-Mon, one of the earliest examples of using language in Myanmar. Secondly, the temple is located west of the Myazedi Pagoda, where two stone columns with inscriptions were found in four South Asian languages: Pali, Alt-Mon, Old Burma and Pyu. The inscription on the column was historically and linguistically referred to as the Rosetta Stone of Burma because of its importance, as a key to understanding the Pyu language.

The construction of the temple is a popular story. Several decades before the construction of Gubyaukgyi, the then Queen Thanbula became pregnant. Since the king had no successor to the throne, he gave his wife a ring and asked her to leave the court. Should she give birth to a son, she should return with him and return the ring. Should she give birth to a girl, she should sell the ring and not return to the farm. The queen gave birth to a son. However, when she returned to the court with him, the king had already promised the son of his daughter, Alaungsithu, that he would be the heir of the kingdom. He compensated his own son for the loss of succession with a large amount of land. He sold much of the land and, out of esteem for his father, used the proceeds to build the Gubyaukgyi Temple.


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