Mingun Bell

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Mingun Bell
မင်းကွန်း ခေါင်းလောင်းတော်ကြီး
Bell, Mingun, Myanmar.jpg
Coordinates Coordinates: 22°03′11″N 96°01′04″E / 22.052972°N 96.017778°E / 22.052972; 96.017778
Location Mingun, Sagaing Region
Type Temple Bell
Material bronze
90,718 kg
Beginning date 1808
Completion date 1810
Dedicated to Mingun Pagoda

The Mingun Bell (မင်းကွန်းခေါင်းလောင်းတော်ကြီး [mɪ́ɴɡʊ́ɴ kʰáʊɴláʊɴ dɔ̀ dʑí]) is a bell located in Mingun, Sagaing Region, Myanmar. It is located approximately 11 km (6.8 mi) north of Mandalay on the western bank of the Irrawaddy River. It was the heaviest functioning bell in the world at several times in history.

Description[edit]

The weight of the bell is 55,555 viss (90,718 kilograms or 199,999 pounds). This number is conveniently remembered by many people in Myanmar as a mnemonic "Min Hpyu Hman Hman Pyaw" (မင်းဖြူမှန်မှန်ပြော), with the consonants representing the number 5 in Burmese astronomy and numerology.[1][2] The weight of the bell and its mnemonic words are written on the surface of the bell in white.

The outer diameter of the rim of the bell is 16 feet 3 inches (4.95 m). The height of the bell is 12.0 feet (3.66 m) on the exterior and 11.5 feet (3.51 m) in the interior. The outside circumference at the rim is 50.75 feet (15.469 m). The bell is 6 to 12 inches (15–30 cm) thick and stands 20.7 feet (6.31 m) high from the rim to the top.[3]

The bell is uncracked and in good ringing condition. The bell does not have a clanger but is rung by striking the outer edge.[4]

History[edit]

Mingun Bell in 1873

Casting of the bell started in 1808 and was finished by 1810. King Bodawpaya (r. 1782–1819) had this gigantic bell cast to go with his huge stupa, Mingun Pahtodawgyi. The bell was said to have been cast on the opposite side of the river and was transported by using two boats, which after crossing the river, proceeded up two specially built canals. The canals were then dammed and the bell was lifted by raising the water level by the addition of earth into the blocked canal. In this way the bell was originally suspended.[4]

The Mingun Bell was knocked off its supports as a result of a large earthquake on 23 March 1839. It was resuspended by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in March 1896 using screw jacks and levers using funds from public subscription. The party to celebrate was attended by many and an hourly boat was required to take visitors from nearby Mandalay.[4] Felice Beato captured a photograph of the bell prior to its resuspension.

Current status[edit]

At 90 tons, the Mingun Bell reigned as the largest ringing bell in the world until 2000, when it was eclipsed by the 116-ton Bell of Good Luck at the Foquan Temple, Pingdingshan, Henan, China.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Mingun Bell". Myanmar's Net Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Mingun". Myanmar's Net Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  3. ^ "The Mingun Bell". Ni Ni Myint, (www.myanmar.gov.mm). Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  4. ^ a b c Bird, George W (1897). Wanderings in Burma, pages 318–319. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd.
  5. ^ Fodushan Scenic Area

External links[edit]

Gallery[edit]