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Kyai Pun Bhura Kyee (ကျိုက်ပွန်ဘုရားကြီး)

Burmese-Mon. ‘Pagoda (Kyai) of the Four (Pun) Large (Kyee) Buddha images (Bhura/Bhuya)’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Bago and which in English is usually referred to as the Kyai Pun or Kyaikpun Pagoda. The main attraction of the temple are four large Buddha images, seated in the bhumisparsa pose and said to represent the Sakyamuni Buddha, i.e. Gautama (fig.), along with the buddhas Kakusandha (fig.), Konagamana (fig.) and Kassapa (fig.), akin to the principal images at the Ananda Phaya (fig.) in Bagan. They are built in the jaturathit style, seated back to back and facing the four directions, reminiscent of the Satu Lokapala (fig.) and similar in style to the principal Buddha images at the Thambula Temple (fig.) in Bagan, as well as those of Wat Phumin (fig.) in Nan (Thailand), which is built in the in jaturamuk style. Though none of the images are exactly the same, the features of only three are fairly identical, with the fourth one being much more different in appearance. According to legend, the Buddha images were built by four sisters, upon their vow that they would stay together in life and would never get married. However, the youngest sister eventually fell in love and did get married, thus breaking her vow. This, so they say, is the reason why one of the Buddha images, according to some the one facing the eastern direction, differs more in appearance from the three others, yet another source says it is the one facing the western direction, reportedly because this is the image that over time first got a crack in it and which thus symbolizes the broken promise of the youngest sister. Tradition however, has it that the Kyaikpun Pagoda was built by King Migadeikpa of Pegu (fig.) in the 7th century AD and that it was renovated by King Dhammazedi, the 16th ruler of the Hansawati Kingdom, in the 15th century. See also TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.