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Manuha Big Buddha in Small Space


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Manuha was the king of Thaton who was captured and imprisoned in Bagan when his kingdom was conquered in 1057. He was apparently allowed to build this temple (now bearing his name) in Myinkaba. There are three huge seated Buddhas and a large reclining Buddha in this temple. Each seems too small for its space. Some people believe that this reflects the constraints and discomfort of the imprisoned king. Similarly, some believe the grim visages seen from below on the seated Buddhas indicate the unhappiness of the prisoner, but seen from the front the faces are smiling broadly. This Buddha is proportioned normally, but the necessary camera angle introduces significant distortion.