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Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, located at the foot of Mandalay Hill in Mandalay, Burma. It was built during the reign of King Mindon Min who had the pagoda built as part of the traditional foundations of the new royal city of Mandalay in 1857. Worried that the teachings of Gautama Buddha may be lost to posterity with the invasion of the British to the region, King Mindon conceived the idea of preserving the entire text of the Tipitaka Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, by inscribing them in huge stone slabs. Each slab is a meter wide and a meter and a half tall, and 13 centimeters thick, and there are 730 slabs in total. Each stone tablet is housed in its own shrine, called kyauksa gu, with a precious gem on top, and they are arranged around the central golden pagoda. These 730 slabs of marble are figuratively called the “world's largest book.”

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Some of the 729 stupas at Kuthodaw Temple. Each stupa houses one page of the book. Photo credit

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