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U Min Thonze (ဥမင်သုံးဆယ်)

Burmese. ‘Thirty Tunnels’ or ‘Cave of Thirty’. Name of a Buddhist hilltop-cave temple on Nga-pha, i.e. Frog Hill, one of the 37 hills of Sagaing, near Mandalay, of which the shape is said to resemble a frog, and which is accessible by the Frog Hill Gate (fig.). This crescent-shaped edifice, built against the face of a slope, has 30 tunnel-shaped entrance gates, hence its name. Inside it features a row of 45 Buddha images seated in the maravijaya pose, i.e. one for each of the years that the Buddha spent on this earth, that is to say 45 years counting from his Enlightenment at the age of 35 until his death or Parinirvana at the age of 80. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.