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Shwe in Bin Kyaung in Mandalay is situated in the Daywun Quarter of Western Mandalay and exhibits all the traditional features of an ancient Buddhist monastery. There is an eastern pavilion (kyaung-u pat thatt) with an altar and Buddha image, a covered passage hall connecting the eastern and the main hall, and a storeroom to the west. Shwe in Bin’s main hall (hsaung-ma) is an image hall where the sangha (the Buddhist community including monks, nuns or sila-rhan, novices and laity) would pay obeisance to the Buddha image. Religious sermons would be delivered to the laity on the sabbath, and this would also have been used as a lecture hall on every other day of the week.
Coming as a surprise to many visitors to Shwe in Bin Kyaung are the depiction of winged angels alongside the common Buddhist scenes. This synergy between Buddhism and Christianity is thought to show the harmonious confluence of the two religions for a higher cause. Myanmar’s Department of Archeology is currently working to preserve Shwe in Bin, replacing worn-out carvings and using the services of carvers descended from the ‘ancient masters’.
For more information about Shwe in Bin or to find out how you can incorporate it into a trip to Myanmar, please feel free to contact one of our travel consultants.