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Pitaka Taik (ပိဋကတ်တိုက်)

Burmese-Sanskrit. ‘Library of the Pitaka’, i.e. Buddhist manuscripts. Name of a brick hall in the ancient city of Bagan (fig.), which was built in 1058 AD by King Anawrahta (fig.) to house 30 sets of the Pitaka which he brought back from Thaton after its conquest in 1057 AD. He carted off the Buddhist scriptures on the 30 White Elephants of the deposed King Manuha, i.e. Makuta (fig.), bringing the latter along to Pagan as a prisoner. The design follows the basic early Bagan Cave Style architecture, known as gu, with the interior dimly lit by lattice-style perforated stone windows rather than open windows, perfect for the preservation of the light-sensitive, palm-leaf scriptures (fig.). The building is square, with each side of the monument measuring 16 meters. It has a central cell and a passage way between the outer walls and the inner hall. There are three entrances with mango stairs (fig.), all in the front, and perforated stone windows decorated with carvings of lotuses. There are a also some gargoyles in the form of lions, which are considered to be the guardians of the dhamma, i.e. the Buddhist law.