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Bagan: Ancient Capital of Myanmar

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Soemingyi Monastery

Type of monument : Brick Monastery
Location : South of Abeyadana Temple
Region : Myinkaba
Built by : Senior Queen or Lady Soe Min Gyi
Date : A.D 1204
Monument Number

Named after the lady who supposedly sponsored its construction, this typical lte Bagan brick monastery is thought to have been completed in 1204. "So-min" is a title for a senior queen or princess of the Bagan Period, so the monastery and the stupa were probably donated by such a lady of high rank.

The Soe-min-gyi is a large, elaborate type of monastery, square in plan, with a double-storeyed sanctum on the western side and a vestibule on the east. It can also be reached easily from the main road by climbing a small raised ground to the west. These monasteries were built "to give a pleasant shade agreeable in all three seasons" as recorded in a Bagan inscription.

A pagoda to the north and cave to the south are also ascribed to Soemingyi. Soemingyi is rectangular as well as square, and has a large central hall surrounded by cells. Square in plan, it has a vestibule on the eastern side and a double-storeyed sanctum on the western side. There is a small central hall, with cells ranged along its northern and southern sides. A staircase in the southeastern corner leads to the roof which was made of wood and was flat. Most brick monasteries in Bagan were single block structures. Soemingyi is unique in that it features monastic cells clustered around a courtyard.

 

 

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