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Htilominlo Phaya (ထီးလိုမင်းလိုဘုရား)

Burmese. Htilominlo Pagoda’ or ‘Temple of the Appointment by [Royal] Umbrella’. Name of a three-storey, 46 meter high, Buddhist temple in Bagan, built by the Pagan King Zeya Theinkha Uzana, who is also known as Htilominlo and Nadaungmya (Nantaungmya). The temple is erected on the spot where the latter was chosen from among five brothers to become the Crown Prince, a selection that according to tradition took place by a white umbrella that was pointed in the direction of the successor-to-be, believed to have been organized by placing the royal umbrella upright on the floor and releasing the handle, after which it would fall over and to whomever of the princes present it would point, would become the Crown Prince, thus allowing sheer chance and gravity to determine would would become the heir to the throne. This brick temple is built in the jaturamuk style, i.e. with four entrances, one for each direction, and each entrance hall housing a gilded Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, with two in Burmese style and two in Mon style, of which the latter two are represented less attractive and using incorrect proportions, with a body that seems too wide for the rather small and at the top squarish head, which sits on the torso with a very short or even with no apparent neck. These four Buddha statues represent the four buddhas of the present world cycle or yuga, known as Kali, and who have already attained Enlightenment. The corridors have niches that contain smaller Buddha images, as well as murals with scenes from Buddhism (fig.). This temple was completed in 1218 AD. See also Phaya, as well as TRAVEL PICTURES.