The Mingun Pahtodawgyi Pagoda north of Mandalay is unfinished. Of the 150 meters in height initially planned, only 50 have been completed. The construction work cost enormous human lives (prisoners of war and slaves) but was also a financial pit for the state and taxes kept increasing which caused serious discontent in the kingdom. To suggest that the king abandon the work, a prophecy spread that the kingdom would collapse the day the pagoda was completed. The king not wanting to see his country disappear, he decided to slow down the work. This took place at the end of the 18th century. As soon as the king died, the works were definitively abandoned.

An earthquake at the end of the 19th century gave it the look we know today.

 

translation of comments in the film:

minute 00:52 :This eerie gate is located at the back of this no less ominous unfinished pagoda by the Irrawaddhy River north of Mandalay.

This pagoda is the result of an excessive royal ambition. King Bodawpaya ordered the construction of the pagoda in 1790 and used thousands of prisoners of war and slaves to build a huge pagoda that was to reach 150 meters high.

The prisoners and the slaves were not the only ones to suffer from this pharaonic project. Taxes were considerably increased and the state coffers suffered greatly from this construction.

The king was extremely superstitious and all that was needed was a prophecy that the day the pagoda was completed, the land would immediately disappear. So the king decided to slow down the work because he did not want his country to disappear. And upon his death, the work was abandoned. The pagoda had reached 50 meters high, a third of what was expected.

An earthquake in 1839 damaged it by creating large cracks still visible today. It is probably these cracks that explain the great tourist craze for this unfinished monument.

At the entrance of the pagoda, a huge brick lion also destroyed by the earthquake, but what remains is a dream.

 

about the place, Mandalay:

Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is Myanmar's second city after Yangon (Rangoon). Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, Mandalay became the capital of the Konbaung dynasty in place of Amarapura.

It was also the last royal capital of Burma before annexation by the British in 1885. However, it remained a leading commercial and cultural center during the British era.

The city was devastated during the conquest of Burma by Japan in World War II and it became part of the newly independent Union of Burma in 1948.

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Mandalay, Myanmar