Ancient tradition refers to only five likenesses of the Buddha, made during his lifetime; two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Mahamuni Buddha image in Myanmar. According to the legend, the Buddha visited the Dhanyawadi city of Arakan in 554 BC. King Sanda Thuriya requested that an image was cast of him. After casting the Great Image, the Buddha breathed upon it, and thereafter the image became the exact likeness of the Mahamuni.
U Bein Bridge
It exemplifies a type of architecture, which though borrowed from the Indian designs at Pagan, was constructed entirely by Burmese architects. The artistic interest of the temple lies in the numerous frescoes with which its four porches are adorned. They represent religious buildings, in various styles of architecture, built or repaired by Pagan Min at Sagaing, Amarapura, Ava, Pakangyi, Prome, and Rangoon, and the planets and the constellations according to Burmese ideas of astronomy. The human figures depict the dresses and customs of the Konbaung period. The pagoda is crowned with a five-tiered pyatthat roof.
The complex contains 947 small and large richly decorated caves. It is carved into a sandstone outcrop and contains numerous carved Buddha statues and mural paintings of geometric patterns and Jataka stories. The statues and paintings have been dated to between the 14th and 18th centuries.