In 1790, King Bodawpaya began to build the largest pagoda in Myanmar, just northwest of Mandalay.
Originally planned to stand 490 feet (149 m), it would be taller than Shwedagon Pagoda. Soon, however, a prophecy foretold that at the temple's completion, the country would be lost. So the superstitious King slowed the construction before finally abandoning it in order to avoid the doomsday revelation. Today it stands unfinished at 164 feet (50 m), and is the largest brick house in the world.
Nearby rests the Mingun Bell, which is the second-largest working bell in the world. It was built in 1807 and was meant for the temple. For almost 200 years, the 90-ton bell was the largest working bell in the world. Now, it ranks second behind the Good Luck Bell that was built in China in 2000.
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