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Each tablet stands over 1.5 metres tall and are 12 centimetres thick. When the British annexed Upper Burma in the mid-1880s they looted the temple for the gold ink and gems that decorated the slabs. The writing has now been replaced with black ink and although perhaps not so ornate, the effect is still beautiful.
Guides and proud locals love to tell visitors that if a man was to read the slabs for 8 hours a day, it would take him 6 months to finish.
The spillage of empires has been mopped up. Mandalay remains Myanmar’s cultural capital.