Shwegugyi Phaya (ရွှေဂူကြီးဘုရား)
Burmese. ‘Great Golden Cave
Name of a Buddhist
was constructed in 1140 AD, during the reign of King
who was also assassinated here.
After the latter fell ill,
his son Prince Narathu could not wait to become king and quickly moved his
father away from the palace to this temple. However,
when the King regained consciousness and latched on what
his son was up to, he became furious for having been set aside,
prompting Narathu to smother his father with his own bedclothes.
This temple is located in front of the royal palace and may also
be referred to as Nandaw Oo Phaya, i.e.
in front of the Palace’.
The temple is built on an expansive brick
foundation of three meters tall that ‒according to legend‒
spontaneously sprouted from the ground in response to the king's
greatness of accumulated merit. Two
i.e. stone slabs, with
original historical inscriptions in Pali, mention that Shwegugyi
Phaya was completed in 7 months and 7 days. The two-storey
temple has a square base and two
receding terraces, each adorned with crenellated parapets and
square corner stupas, rise above each storey. At the top is a
surmounted by a slim, tapering spire. Though essentially
jaturamuk style, i.e.
with four entrances, the
northern portico projects further than the others, breaking the
symmetry, akin to the nearby
There are four Buddha images
seated around the sides of the central cellar block.