HtokeKant Thein Temple

The HtokeKant Thein is near the famous ShitThaung pagoda and is situated on a height of 200 feet. One has to go up the 18 steps of the stone stairs. The ordination hall is surmounted by a stupa and and surrounded by 4 smaller ones at each corner.  The form of the pagoda is like that of the ShitThaung pagoda. The hall is constructed with stone blocks while the stupas are built with bricks. The west side is semi-circular in shape and a Sabbath hall is attached to its southwest. The whole structure is 64 feet high.

The donor is king Mong Phalaung who built it in 1571. The reason was that the country was in a state of turmoil and governers and high officials were going to revolt against the king. The temple was built to prevent the fall of the country by fulfilling a common saying at the time: when a house is worn, support it with a pole; when a country is disintegrating, support its beams / htoke

To reunite the country and to be able to govern efficiently, the royal astrologers advised the king to build the temple with the donation of governors, landlords, officials and the common people. That is why the images of the governors, landlords and officials with their wives were carved inside it.

There are 2 inner pavements inside the structure. Going clockwise, one reaches the relic chamber at the end. The chamber is built at the height of 16 feet. The room is said to be the place where the Buddhist Archbishop and senior Sanghas of the kingdom met to discuss the religious affairs. The first inner pavement is 9 ft high and 6 ft wide while the second is 14 ft high and 11 ft wide.

By studying the costumes and ornaments such as the crown, headdresses, coiffure, necklaces, ear-rings, pendants, wristlets, rings, hairpins,the crown, headdresses, coiffure, necklaces, ear-rings, pendants, wristlets, rings, hairpins, upper garments, baldrics, waistbands, etc, one can know about the status of the persons concerned during the middle period of Mrauk U dynasty. In fact, the HtokeKant temple is a museum of traditional costumes of Mrauk U period. The figures in the temple epitomize the various Mrauk U period costumes and ornaments.

Headdresses of 40 kinds, baldric 9, girdles 5, rings 81, necklaces 9, 60 types of pendant stars, 20 types of bracelets, string of flowers 5, 8 kinds of hairpin, hair-clip pendants 8, toe-rings 7 and shawls 5. There were 64 varieties of coiffure / hairdo.

Originally, the images in the niches of the inner pavement and that of the relic chamber were cast ones. After the fall of the city they all were removed. The present images were like those from the ShitTaung temple: brought from nearby places by the donors to be worshipped.

The image in the relic chamber is 5 ft 7 in high and the robe is knotted on the breast. It was brought from Munthamee mraung hillock in 1970.

The temple is floored, roofed, vaulted and arched with stone blocks. Owing to the construction with stone blocks and its massive size it is the feat of the Rakhine architects of the time.


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