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The World’s Largest Book

By Linda Tancs

Mandalay is Myanmar’s second largest city, an exotic locale celebrated in a namesake poem by Rudyard Kipling. Among its charms is the riveting Kuthodaw Pagoda, located at the southeastern base of Mandalay Hill, where it was prophesied that a Buddhist metropolis (named after the hill) would take root. The unique feature of this temple is the 729 miniature pagodas surrounding the central shrine. Each of these smaller shrines contains a marble tablet inscribed with a page of text from the Tipitaka, the Buddhist sacred scriptures. Assembled together, the tablets would cover about one third of an acre or rise to a height over 300 feet. No wonder, then, that these pages are hailed as the world’s largest book.

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