Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, Sagaing

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is a 17th Century Buddhist religious site located in Sagaing, near Mandalay in Myanmar. Modelled on the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa in Sri Lanka, the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda was originally painted white, however, it was controversially painted gold by the government of Myanmar a few years ago and the local people are now campaigning for the pagoda to be returned to it original colour.


About Kaunghmudaw Pagoda


The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda took slightly over 12 years to build, from April 1636 to May 1648. The pagoda’s creator was King Thalun, eighth king of the Toungoo dynasty whose empire once included not only what is modern day Myanmar, but also most of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and part of modern day Vietnam. The pagoda was built to mark the occasion of the royal city of Inwaa becoming the regional capital. The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is a grand structure, 46 metres high with a circumference of 276 metres, topped by a ‘hti’ (gold umbrella ornament) which is 7.92 metres tall. Inset with the outer rim of the the structure of the pagoda are 120 statues. These statues are of ‘nats’, which are spirits worshipped alongside Buddha by many people in Myanmar, and ‘devas’, which are supernaturals beings worshipped in the Hindu religion.

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing

At the centre of the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda there is a 7.3 metre tall Buddha statue carved out of white marble. There is speculation that the pagoda was built around the Buddha statue which provides a logical explanation for the choice of the egg shaped design of the dome. The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is unique amongst pagodas in Myanmar, such as the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which are usually conical in shape. The pagoda has two long corridors arranged in a cross leading through to the central chamber where the main Buddha Statue is located. Parts of the corridors in the Pagoda are occupied by stalls on either side of the walkway selling clothes and food. Ignore these stalls and look up at the ceilings and supporting pillars which are ornately decorated in a mosaic of green green tiles.


Location of Kaunghmudaw Pagoda


  • Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is 26.0 km from Mandalay Railway Station.


Travel to Kaunghmudaw Pagoda


Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is located near Mandalay. Follow the links below for information about travel to Mandalay:

Next read about Pagoda of the Celestial Lady