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Shwezigon was built as the most important reliquary shrine in Bagan, a centre of prayer and reflection for the new Theravada faith King Anawarahta had established in Bagan. The pagoda's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later pagodas all over Myanmar. The gilded pagoda sits on three rising terraces. Enameled plaques in panels around the base of the pagoda illustrate scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha, also known as the 550 Jatakas. At the cardinal points, facing the terrace stairways, are four shrines, each of which houses a four meter high bronze standing Buddha.
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©John Lander
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Shwezigon was built as the most important reliquary shrine in Bagan, a centre of prayer and reflection for the new Theravada faith King Anawarahta had established in Bagan. The pagoda's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later pagodas all over Myanmar. The gilded pagoda sits on three rising terraces. Enameled plaques in panels around the base of the pagoda illustrate scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha, also known as the 550 Jatakas. At the cardinal points, facing the terrace stairways, are four shrines, each of which houses a four meter high bronze standing Buddha.