Htilominlo Temple – Where the Past Never Ends
Htilominlo Temple is one of sacred and most ancient Buddhist constructions in Myanmar which is located near the road between Nyaung U and Bagan. It is known as the last Myanmar-style temple built in Bagan.
» Htilominlo Temple and the Weirdest Way to Choose a King
Legend said that Htilominlo was selected to be the next King out of the five sons of King Narapatisithu. The five sons stood in a circle with a white umbrella in the center. When the umbrella tilt and the direction it pointed towards would decide the next King. At that time the umbrella pointed towards Htilominlo, he was chosen. The place where Htilominlo temple was built was the spot where the prince was selected as the new emperor.
» Architecture of Htilominlo Temple
Htilominlo Temple was built by bricks and plastered with white stucco. The stucco was carved with various depictions of ogresses and mythological animals.
The temple is placed on a low platform with proportional floor plan. However, the Eastern entrance porch seems to extend further out in compare to the other three. On the top of the massive lower cube are three receding terraces. The second cube which is much smaller also contains three terraces which include small stupas on each corner.
On the terraces, there is a set of glazed terracotta plaques which illustrate the stories from the Jataka tales (the stories about the previous lives of the Buddha). But not all of tiles have existed til the present days.
There is an entrance porch in each side of the square temple with elaborate decorations. The Htilominlo temple is topped with a sikhara, an ornamental tower like structure in the Northern India architecture. Unlike the sikharas of the Ananda, these sikharas are not gilded. On the sikhara, there is a spire shaped like an umbrella – a gilded hti.
» What is inside Htilominlo Temple?
Inside the temple, from the wall with the entrances leading to the inner sanctuary, there are arched recesses where small Buddha images are set. On both floors are four large gilded Buddha images which face each side of the temple. The temple also comprises of beautiful murals and frescoes of Buddhist depictions which have faded significantly.
For the purpose of protecting temples of Bagan from damages, the terraces are no longer opened. However, tourists could also visit a variety of souvenir stalls selling local handicrafts around the temple. Although damaged during the 1975 earthquake, the temple is still explore-worthy historic site of Bagan in Myanmar.
If you have chance to enjoy Bagan travel, don’t forget to visit this amazing attraction.
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