Wednesday, September 2, 2015

An ancient stone stupa found in the lake in Mongbra (Minbya), Arakan

Written by Arakan Indobhasa
September 2, 2015

On August 21, 2015, an ancient stone stupa was found from the lake, Pone-nah-kan (ပုဏၰားကန္), in Mongbra (Minbya), Arakan state while pumping out the water polluted with mud during the flooding in Arakan state. 
Twelve of the country's fourteen states including Arakan were affected because of flooding in Myanmar from July to August 2015.  Mongbra Township is one of the most deadly affected one in Arakan, and almost all lakes and wells in the flood affected areas in Arakan were covered with dirty water. While the polluted water being pumped out of the lake, the stupa was found in the lake located in Zee-haung (Old Market) Ward, near Mroema Stadium, Mongbra (Minbya).
"The Parahita Network from Rangoon and the Public Centre from Mongbra (Minbya) were co-operating to remove the dirty and polluted water from the lake. Today (21-08-2015) the stupa covering with mud was found on the ground floor of the lake about at 9:30 a.m." said U Hla Maung Than living in Zee-haung (Old Market) Ward to Bongbra News.   

An old man about 70 years old residing near the lake explained about the lake that, during the time of Arakan Kings, the lake was dug and donated by the Brahman (called Pone-nah ပုဏၰား in Arakan, so the lake is still called "Pone-nah-kan (ပုဏၰားကန္)". 
An Arakan historian, Mongbra-Mon Thein Zan from Monbra, who went there and studied about the stupa said to Bongbra News, “That is a lower part of the Vesali periodic stupa. There is 'Yedhamma' verse inscription written on the moulding of the stone stupa. About 1500 (5th century A.D) years ago A.D, the stupa was made for worship in Vesali period of Arakan. I believe that, about 1500 years ago A.D, Arakanese would live in this area because along the Kyaing-taung hill where the stupa was found it is linked to Buddhist art of Vesali period."
He continued that the length of stupa that was currently found now is about 12 inches, and it is about 7 inches wide and about 18 inches high. One site of its surface was destroyed and the upper part of it also seemed to be destroyed.
Two stone stupas were also found on the Kyaing-taung hill before - the stupa that was found near Tha-htee-kun (သူေဌးကုန္း) Village is kept in the Radanabiman(ရတနာ့ဗိမာန္) Monastery and the stupa found near Ah-nauk ah-thee (အေနာက္အသည္) Village is kept in the Ah-thee Monastery. 
U Hla Maung Than told Bongbra News that the stupa recently found is temporarily placed on boundary of the lake, because no authority yet comes there to be able to place the stupa in a suitable place. 
Translated by Arakan Indobhasa
Sources: Mongbra News
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