Found nearly at the exact center point on the map of Myanmar, the town of Mingun is famous for the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, which is an unfinished pagoda that was being constructed in the 1790s. The construction on the pagoda was never completed because of a claim made by an astrologist that as soon as the construction was completed, the ruler, King Bodawpaya, would die. Visitors to Mingun will also notice the cracks that run through the rock. These cracks are the result of a massive earthquake that hit the town in the 1830s. Travelers are welcome to climb the unfinished building and although there is obviously little to see in the rock itself, there are stunning views of the region and the impressive Mya Theindan pagoda below to be had.
Local tour guides claim that the pagoda is actually the world's largest unfinished stupa and that if it had ever been finished, it would be the largest completed one. Finished and very impressive is the Hsinbyume Pagoda, a pure white structure with seven terraces and many niches filled with mythical monsters, which was dedicated to the favorite wife of a king. Along with the pagodas, there is also a ringing bell that was cast during the same period on the orders of King Bodawpaya. Fitting in with the realm of “everything is bigger in Mingun,” the bell is the largest ringing bell in the world.
Most tourists make their way to Mingun from Mandalay on a day trip. The 11-kilometer boat trip from Mandalay takes between 45 minutes and an hour. Organizing a trip is fairly easy as there are constantly boats traveling up river to the town and beyond.
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