The world’s largest book is housed in Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as Mahalawka Marazein Pagoda. The world’s largest book refers to 730 stone inscriptions of Buddha’s teachings or Tipitaka. The Kuthodaw Pagoda was built by King Mindon as he laid the foundations of Mandalay city in 1857. There are 729 stupas housing marbles, carved with with Buddhist scriptures, dedicated by King Mindon to last for five millennia after the Gautama Buddha (500 BC). The marbles were quarried from Sagyin Hill, 32 miles north of Mandalay. The monks oversaw the writing of the text, based on the Tipitaka that was kept in the royal libraries in the form of palm leaf manuscripts. Construction took 8 years to complete from 1860 to 1868, when it was finally open to public.
After the fall of Myanmar (Burma) post the third Angalo-Burmese war of 1885 and annexation of Mandalay by the British, the Kuthodaw Pagoda’s jewels were looted and the gold ink and the edges of the marbles were scraped. The marbles were later restored in black ink and the Pagoda was slowly restored by efforts of various parties, including Queen Victoria, her officers, monks and former officers of the king Thibaw, Shan prince, and many others, including the public.
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