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Soldiers in a temple?
Shwekyimyint Paya is certainly not as grand as some of the other payas ina and around Mandaly, but it's a pleasant place to spend a little time. It also has the advantage of being near most of the tourist hotels.
Pre-dating the city itself by almost seven centuries, it contains the usual shrines and temples and several small ponds. There seemed to be a huge number of children playing about the place when I was there.
There are some notable religious artefacts held there, including a Buddha image from the origins of the paya, although these are not on general display.
The thing that struck me most focibly abut the complex, however, was the large nujmber of soldiers and police milling about inside. It seemed most incongruous to me in a religious place. I was told (discreetly) by a local in Mandalay - not st the temple itself - that they were scared of the people in the area causing trouble. It was a little surreal, to say the least.
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