Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest structure in Bagan (201 feet from the base to the tip), built by King Alaung Sithu in 1144 CE. Thatbyinnyu means omniscience in Pali, embodying the omniscience attained on becoming enlightened. The temple is a complex structure with seven terraces and contains circumambulatory vaulted corridors, four-terraced devotional stupas, a monastery and a library. The big statue of Buddha on the upper terrace was damaged during 1975 earthquake and its head is now displayed in the Bagan archeological museum. There is a cave pagoda, commonly known as the ‘tally pagoda’, which is said to be built during the Thabyinnyu construction time with the bricks set aside -- a brick was kept for every 10,000 bricks used at Thabyinnyu.
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