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Htukkanthein Temple (Htuk Kant Thein Temple), Myanmar

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Htukkanthein Temple (Htuk Kant Thein Temple), Myanmar

 

Htuk Kant Thein Temple marker, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Htuk Kant Thein Temple marker, Mrauk U, Myanmar

The Htukkanthein temple is a bunker-like Buddhist temple on a small hill located across from Shite-Thaung temple. The structure has a dark interior and a long spiraling corridor leading to the inner chamber. (keep walking because the Buddha at the end is hidden…The Journey is the Reward!).

The temple’s name translates to “cross beam ordination hall”. As the very massive structure is built on raised aground, has small windows and just a single entrance, it is believed that the Htukkanthein served as a place of  refuge during times of war.

King Min Phalaung, builder of the temple

The Htukkanthein temple was built in 1571 by King Min Phalaung, whose reign brought prosperity and expansion of the Mrauk U empire. Min Phalaung built more than a dozen pagodas, the Royal Palace (1577) as well as the Pitaka Taik, the only remaining library building. The Pitaka Taik is a small, very ornate stone building decorated with carvings of floral motifs found near the Htupayon pagoda, a little to the North. It was used to store the Tripitaka, the ancient Buddhist texts that the King received from Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka).

Htuk Kant Thein Temple marker, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Htuk Kant Thein Temple marker, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Massive structure

Built on top of a small leveled hill the square Htukkanthein temple built of massive sandstone blocks and brick measures 32 meters long on each side. The structure is surrounded on all sides by massive stone walls. Stairways on the East and South side lead to the temple, the East one being the main entrance.

On top of the Htukkanthein’s flat surface is a large central bell shaped stupa topped with a circular, mushroom shaped hti. It is surrounded by 4 smaller, similarly shaped stupas at the corners, also topped with a hti. A window in the central dome allows the rays of the sun to illuminate the principal Buddha image in the central chamber. You will find this hidden chamber if you continue… it looks like you’re going to a dead-end, keep going!

Outside of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Outside of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Climbng the steps of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Climbing the tall steps of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

A detail, close up, of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

A detail, close up of exterior, of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of HtukKant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of HtukKant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Finally the passageway ends up in the five meter high inner chamber, shaped like a dome. This chamber enshrines the principal Buddha image. The stone image set on a high pedestal is illuminated by the rays of the sun.

Finally the passageway ends up in the five meter high inner chamber, shaped like a dome. This chamber enshrines the principal Buddha image. The stone image set on a high pedestal is illuminated by the rays of the sun.

Interior cooridors of HtukKant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior cooridors of HtukKant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Standing at HtukKant Thein Temple looking across the way to Andaw Thein, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Standing at HtukKant Thein Temple looking across the way to Andaw Thein, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Eddie at Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Htukkanthein temple interior

A vaulted passageway spirals up through the temple’s interior towards the inner chamber where the principal Buddha image is enshrined.

At regular intervals in the corridor’s walls are a total of 140 arched recesses, each enshrining a stone image of the Buddha. Each image is flanked by stone sculpted images of people who are believed to be donors who sponsored construction of the temple. Among them are common people, noblemen, officials and their wives. The female figures show off the 64 traditional hair styles of the Mrauk U Kingdom.

Finally the passageway ends up in the five meter high inner chamber, shaped like a dome. This chamber enshrines the principal Buddha image. The stone image set on a high pedestal is illuminated by the rays of the sun.

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Stone Carvings (with no faces), Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings (with no faces), Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Stone Carvings (with no faces), Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Stone Carvings (with no faces), Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Stone Carvings (with no faces), Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Finally the passageway ends up in the five meter high inner chamber, shaped like a dome. This chamber enshrines the principal Buddha image. The stone image set on a high pedestal is illuminated by the rays of the sun.

Finally the passageway ends up in the five meter high inner chamber, shaped like a dome. This chamber enshrines the principal Buddha image. The stone image set on a high pedestal is illuminated by the rays of the sun. Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Standing outside of Htukkanthein Temple and looking back to Shittung Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Standing outside of Htuk Kant Thein Temple and looking back to Shittung Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

 Approching Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar Alternative Text

Approching Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htukkanthein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

Interior of Htuk Kant Thein Temple, Mrauk U, Myanmar

A view of Htukkanthein Temple across the street at Shittaung Paya, Mrauk U, Myanmar

A view of Htuk Kant Thein Temple across the street at Shittaung Paya, Mrauk U, Myanmar

If you are considering visiting Mrauk U (and I hope you do!), I’ve written a detailed post on how to get to Mrauk U, that you can find here.

As always, The Journey is the Reward! – Kerri

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