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Gatty Lecture Series Highlights: Chotima Chaturawong - "Buddha Shrines: A Cross-Cultural Study of Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka"

Pyathat in Burma

Next time you visit Buddhist temples in Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, look for a unique architectural style of roof called “mondop” in Thai, “pyathat” in Burmese, and “mandapa” in Pali. In Ajaan Chotima Chaturawong's Gatty Lecture on February 11, Ajarn Chotima traced the architectural features of the mandapa as the structure travelled across South and Southeast Asian Buddhist kingdoms. Through her thorough architectural, historical, and ethnographic investigations,  Ajarn Chotima vividly described how religious functions and artistic styles of the mandapa changed over time. These changes and adaptations of the mandapa reflected indigenous architectural characteristics that shed light on the connection among the Buddhist kingdoms of the Thai, Burmese, Mon, and Sinhalese. 

(photo: a pyathat in Burma (…/Pyathat-or-Funeral-Car-120…))