This Pagoda is Crammed to Bursting With Buddhas

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 3 2014 11:36 AM

This Pagoda is Crammed to Bursting With Buddhas

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

How many Buddhas does one temple need? If it's Thanboddhay Pagoda in Monywa, Myanmar, the answer is 582,357. Actually, it might be 582,363. The tally varies—one's math abilities inevitably suffer when one is walking around in the stifling heat trying to count over half-a-million enlightened beings.

Thanboddhay Pagoda dates all the way back to the 13th century, but the intricate rows of golden stupas and candy-colored carvings were added during a massive reconstruction that began in 1939. Two sculpted white elephants guard the entrance.

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Ella Morton is a writer working on The Atlas Obscura, a book about global wonders, curiosities, and esoterica adapted from Atlas Obscura. Follow her on Twitter.

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