About Burmese Pagodas.
" When the shrines through the foliage are gleaming half showna"
The smallest well known pagoda in Burma is probably the Let Saung Po, which stands on a boulder overlooking the angry waters of the Irrawaddy in the Second Defile. It lies at the foot of a cliff eight hundred feet high. The unique situation of this little red and gold shrine has made it famous.
The largest pagoda is undoubtedly the Mengun, though its founder, King Bodaw Paya1, abandoned it after about five years' work in 1795. It had then only reached one-third of its intended height. It stands on the right bank of the Irrawaddy near Mandalay, " a geological phenomenon," as Yule calls it. Its vast square base, though shattered and smashed by earthquakes, is still reputed to be the biggest masonry building in the world. It has no architectural beauties to recommend it. Its great relic chambers, whose size is said to be responsible for the collapse of the shrine, are believed to be filled with deposits, valuable
1 See the table of the Alaungpra dynasty in Chapter XVI.1 See the table of the Alaungpra dynasty in Chapter XVI.