Mingalazedi Pagoda is the last major temple to be built by the Bagan Empire and is architectural marker of the end of a great civilisation.
- Opening Hours: 06:00 to 18:00
- Entrance Fee: 25,000 MMK (3 day pass to the archaeological zone)
About Mingalazedi Pagoda
Mingalazedi Pagoda was completed in 1274, which is three years before the first invasion of the Mongol Army under the command of Kublai Khan. From this point forward the Pagan Empire crumbled until the next invasion in 1287 split the Empire in pieces controlled in part by the last King’s son and in other parts by his former military commanders. The Pagan Empire, and the acceleration of the temple building programme at Bagan, began with the ascension to the throne of King Anawrahta in 1,044. King Anawrahta is generally considered the father of the Burmese nation on account of his success in uniting many different city-states and remote mountain chieftainships into a single group under his political control. This grouping encompassed an area similar to that of the territory boundaries of modern day Myanmar. King Anawrahta also gave impetus to a programme of temple building in Bagan (then known as Pagan) with the commissioning of the construction of three major new temples: Lawkananda Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda and Shwezigon Pagoda.
Both the rate of temple construction of the power of the Pagan peaked around a century after the Anawrahta came to power during the reign of King Sithu II. The king who came after, Narathihapate, and was responsible for the Mingalazedi Pagoda, was far less successful a ruler than his predecessors and a far less prolific temple builders. Whilst the Mingalazedi Pagoda is in its own way an architectural masterpiece with a sophisticated design, it lacks the grandeur of earlier temples such as Dhammayazika Pagoda and Thatbyinnyu Temple, in rather the same way as King Narathihapate lacked the vision and decisiveness of earlier kings of the Pagan Empire. He also lacked humanity. Of all the many great temples at Bagan, Mingalazedi Pagoda is only one which is believed to have built using forced labour. King Narathihapate did not have the funds to pay for vanity project so he forced his subjects to provide their labour for free, furthering their resentment for their King and hastening the fall of the Pagan Empire.
Location of Mingalazedi Pagoda
- Mingalazedi Pagoda is 12.1 km by road from Bagan Railway Station.
Travel to Mingalazedi Pagoda
Mingalazedi Pagoda is located near to the town of Bagan. Follow the links below for information about travel to Bagan: