Photo Gallery

Gawdawpalin Temple (built c. 12th century)

The Gawdawpalin Pahto was begun during the reign of Sithu II (or Narapatisithu, 1174-1211) and completed during the reign of his successor, Nadaungmya (or Htilominlo, 1211-1234). It is one of the larger (it is actually Bagan's second tallest) and most imposing of the Bagan temples. There are two suggested origins of its name, which means, according to the eminent Bagan scholar Paul Strachan, a "throne on platform to which respect or homage is paid." One interpretation is that it formed part of traditional ceremonials honoring royal ancestors. The other explanation, wrapped in myth, is that Sithu had demonstrated such pride and had created so many hardships through his construction of the Sulamani Guphaya, that the eminent monk Panthagu Mahathera fled to Sri Lanka for six years in protest. The king persuaded him to return and paid him great honor and homage on this spot upon his return.

The Gawdawpalin a large eastward-facing two-story temple set on a low platform in the center of a walled enclosure with four gateways. It is located just to the north of the present Archaeological Museum. It is a brick masonry structure with stone reinforcement. Its exterior dimensions are 213 x 170.5 ft (65 x 52 m), with a solid inner core on the ground floor of almost 92 x 93.3 ft (27,99 x 28.45 m). The ground floor corridors around the central core are almost 7 ft wide (2.20 x 2.19 m). The entry shrine on the ground floor is almost 23 x 38.5 ft (6.95 x 11.72 m). The second story solid core is less than half the size of that of the ground floor. There is another shrine and entrance hall, and for the first time in Bagan architecture, the primary shrine is on the second story. Barrel and diaphragm vaults cover the shrines and corridors.

The three lower terraces and four upper terraces are topped by a square tower, conical spire and umbrella that reached 180 ft (55 m); some suggest it was 200 ft (60 m.)., Unfortunately, Gawdawpalin was near the epicenter of the 1975 earthquake; the tower was destroyed and upper parts were heavily damaged. There were repairs between 1976-82; it was further strengthened, when the tower was rebuild as a hollow reinforced concrete structure in 1991-92. About 40% of the exterior stucco moldings are still in place.

The eminent scholar G. H. Luce in comparing Gawdawpalin to Thatbyinnu, wrote that the romantic style has succeeded the classic, while Strachan suggests that there is a streamlining of mass in the Gawdawpalin with an 'upwardly directed movement' that is "tall, refined and quite elegant" and, I would add, majestically unique. Such a sublime style was never again attempted at Bagan.

Bagan Monument number 1622

Text by Robert D. Fiala, Concordia University, Nebraska


The approximate location of the site is 21.170026' N, 94.856476' E (WGS 84 map datum).


All images copyright 2002 by Professor Robert D. Fiala of Concordia University, Nebraska, USA

Courtauld, Carline. Burma (Myanmar).
  Hong Kong: Odyssey Publications, 1999.

Falconer, John et al. Burmese Design and Architecture.
  Singapore: Tuttle Publishing, 2000.

Fraser-Lu, Sylvia. Splendour in Wood.
  New York: Weatherhill, 2001.

Pichard, Pierre. Inventory of Monuments at Pagan, vol. 6, Monuments [numbered] 1440-1736.
  Paris: Kiscadale EFEO UNESCO, 1994.

Stadtner, Donald. Sacred Sites of Burma.
  Bangkok: River Books, 2008.

Strachan, Paul. Imperial Pagan.
  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990.

Strachan, Paul. Pagan: Art & Architecture of Old Burma, 2nd. ed.
  Scotland: Kiscadale Publications, 1996.

Tettoni, Invernizzi. Myanmar style : Art, Architecture and Design of Burma.
  London: Thames & Hudson, 1998.

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jerry posted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:43 pm:

this is a fake site it has no info what so ever

gdfffdf posted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:39 am:


Website: anr
johny appleseed posted on Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:43 pm:


Levi Sherman posted on Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:21 pm:

Thank you Moderator! But I claim I took those pictures!

Levi Sherman posted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:09 pm:

Hi I want to about this thing!

Levi Sherman posted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:05 pm:

Hi I'm Levi and i wnat to know what it is about! I claim that I took those pictures!

Moderator replied on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:19 pm: 
Levi -- all photos of the Gawdawpalin pagoda on this page were taken by Professor Robert D. Fiala of Concordia University, Nebraska, USA. Thank you.
mrs. lopez posted on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:49 pm:

bad website for info

anthony harris posted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:50 pm:

are these dogs really upbeat and loyal or just plain disobedient?

Reave posted on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:24 pm:


Website: LOLno
cathrine posted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:38 am:

i know that is a german shepard

Website: pbs
Kenzie posted on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:55 pm:

THIS SITE IS SOOO FAKE! YOU DONT EVEN KNOW! lol there is no such thing as a bermese mountain dog but there is a dog breed that is a BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG.

Karen LeClair posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:54 am:

YES there is a such thing as a Burmese Mountain Dog Go to AKC look at info and pictures of dog. Yes the fake site that directs us to this site is fake or false those pictures are of German Shepherds.This website is about temples.

Anonymous posted on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:10 pm:

Hi, you are probably really confused as to why all these people keep posting about dogs on your site. This is because you are linked to from a fraud site, about the "Burmese Mountain Dog." The Burmese Mountain dog is said, on this site, to have guarded the temple shown on this page.

ur mom posted on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:35 am:

fake those are german shepherds

jhfkdhryx ilyflutd posted on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:28 pm:

fake website

bob posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:32 am:

good job

Kelsey posted on Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:50 am:


Fluff posted on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:50 pm:


Website: Opla
david posted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:02 am:

I'm interested in training this breed for protection. Can you advise the best site or book?

Website: berniese mountain dog
Moderator replied on Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:14 pm: 
Sorry, this is outside the scope of this website's area of expertise. This is a site about architectural history.
nway posted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:56 am:

someone recommend me about " burmese mountain dog " I saw photos of dog at gawdawpalin temple. But I don't think that is a burmese mountain dog as I went to Bagan many times and never seen such a dog. It's a german shepherd I think. But I will confirm when I go to Bagan next time.

Darrell posted on Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:13 pm:

i love that building an i love dogs!!!!!!!!

C.M. Williams posted on Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:23 pm:

Everyone, this site was put here to be used as a teaching device for middle and high school students on website evaluation. To teach them that everything on the internet may not be accurate and how to verify and compare info from various sites. There are many other sites like this that we in public schools use as a teaching device. So there you have it.

Brandon posted on Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:23 pm:

Hey people there is no such thing as a burmese mountain dog. The photos are of a german shepherd and the only thing close to a burmese mountain dog is a Bernese Mountain Dog which looks more like a St. Bernard. Its a Gag site people just do some research and look up the facts for yourself dont believe everything you see immediately, put some though into it.

Website: Burmese Mountain Dog
Moderator replied on Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:36 pm: 
Thank you for your helpful comment. As my area of expertise is architectural history, I'm not qualified to contribute to this discussion, but I appreciate your remark.
rabin bharadwaja posted on Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:42 pm:

Yes, there is a burmese mountain dog. They are from northern burma(myanmar) state called Chin state. They do not look like Bernese mountain dog at all. They are about 50-60 lbs, mid size and muscular like rotties. Tribes people keep them as one of their family member than a pet. They do not sell the puppies but if they want you will get it free. I know because i am from myanmar living in US. I have been promised for two puppies by end of 2010. Plan to bring them to US. I have some pictures of them. please contact to my email.

Charles T. posted on Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:43 pm:

Please see the linked article regarding the "Bernese Mountain Dog". Hopefully this lays to rest some of the confusion here. "Bernese" refers to the breed's place of origin, in the Canton of Berne, Switzerland. It has nothing to do with Burma in Southeast Asia.

carlisle school posted on Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:10 pm:

this is the best site ever i can't find any information.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

abdul posted on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:10 pm:

what is this website about can some one tell me?

Moderator replied on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:18 pm: 
Abdul, Please see the FAQ section at the top of the website. Thank you. --Timothy
ghgjhj posted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:24 pm:

it's a BURNESE MOUNTAIN DOG!!!!!!! i have one

bill posted on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:01 am:

this is so totally fake

Moderator replied on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:07 am: 
Bill, What are you referring to? Thanks, Timothy Ciccone - Moderator
akshay posted on Mon May 11, 2009 11:26 pm:

very nice

Robert posted on Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:04 am:

Who is so retarded as to think there is such a thing! its a German Shepard i would know! i have one!

Moderator replied on Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:38 am: 
Let's please try to keep the conversation civil. Thanks, Timothy Ciccone - editor
Leigh posted on Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:14 am:

To the moron who thinks there is such a thing as a Burmese mountain dog, I would like to clarify.THERE IS NO SUCH THING!!!!! Those pictures were of a German sheperd. And the only thing relatively close to a Burmese mountain dog, is called a Burnese dog. And that looks completely different.

marcus brooks posted on Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:18 am:

great building man so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

patricia j rew posted on Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:43 pm:

I am interested in acquiring a Burmese Temple Dog as a companion dog. Also known as the Burmese Mountain Dog. Can you put me in touch with a breeder in the USA

Moderator replied on Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:16 pm: 
Patricia-- Sorry, this is beyond the scope of our knowledge. If any reader has information, feel free to post here. Thanks, Timothy Ciccone - editor