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Published: October 27th 2017
Ein Daw Yar
I reached the temple around the back, I think it was the west entrance but I had intended to enter through the east, the direction from which I had walked. Thankfully I did it that way round because at the entrance I used, there were people collecting money for the temple with the usual donation stall and loud hailing for any passers by to give money or goods. I left from the east entrance and although it also had people making goods to donate to the monks, in this case fans, I'm not sure I would have seen all the different things made for donations.
The Pagoda itself was quite spread out. In the centre was the stupa in gold, as so many are, but around it were other stupas in marble, wood and also on one side a snake temple. The most ornate area was like a grotto and on one side of it was a replica of the Golden Rock. Near that was a pagoda structure with the signs of the Zodiac around the top and as with one of the temple structures in Shwedagon, it had figures walking down the corners. Another area
which was covered by a roof had the life of Buddha in statues.
People use this Temple as an everyday activity - there were some sleeping under a tree, a lady was having her fortune told near one of the Buddhas, a monk was using an iPad and there were people sweeping areas, some who looked as though they were workers for the temple collecting rubbish. However I did notice a pile of rubbish just dumped under one of the trees. In addition there were people praying and attending their birthday corner.
Thank goodness I’d had my guide at Shwedagon in Yangon. From Chris I understood about the layout of a pagoda and the meanings of areas.
This one in Mandalay was particularly interesting to me as the entrances had crafts people making the various articles to be donated to monks. I was the only foreigner there and they happily showed what they were doing. The entrance I used had machinists sewing the bags and robes for monks. The stores further into the temple were selling these articles so that people could donate them. On the way out I stopped to watch the stages of making the
fans for monks. Each person in the area had a different job and I photographed them.
It is the only place I have been approached by a child asking for money (now 9 days) and when I convinced him “No”, he ran off. Near where he approached me was a young girl selling slices of melon. She waved and posed for a photo. What a contrast in their attitudes.
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