729 small white stupas surround the Kuthodaw Pagoda. These gold bell topped stupas are neatly placed in symmetrical rows creating a stunning assembly around the main pagoda.
Within each stupa, a five-foot high tablet bears inscriptions of Buddhist teachings. In 1960, King Mindon Min began construction on the largest book in the world. The infringing British Empire, who already annexed much of South Burma, was the main motivation for its creation. The King feared that Buddhist teachings would be lost forever and wanted to make something that would last. Although the pagoda would be looted of its gold and jewels, the stone tablets remained. They were restored, but the tablet inscriptions were painted black instead of gold.