A Forest of Spires by James Charlick Via Flickr: Indein is one of the many small villages populating the bank of Inle Lake. A Buddha Image has been enshrined at a whitewashed pagoda on the summit of the hill above the village, and below this around the hill are hundreds of ancient crumbling stupas.
This pagoda’s history is shrouded in mystery, indeed the locals themselves have no knowledge of its’ origin or history, and Myanmar historical records make no mention of its construction. One popular theory puts its beginnings at 200 – 300 BC but there’s no archaeological evidence to support that theory.
The stupas vary in their degree of degradation, from complete or fully restored near the main temple at the summit to mounds of earth and small heaps of crumbled brick that formed the foundation of the structures towards the bottom of the hill.
Once whitewashed sculpted render formed layered rings and an archway with brick structure beneath exposed at the foundation. Inside would once have been a buddha statue or relic of a special monk for the locals to worship, but many of these have been damaged or removed.
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