King Maha Thu Ri Ya Tine San Dra founded Vesali in AD 327. His chief queen was Thu Pa Bar Day Vi, the Sakkya clan of Kapilawat kingdom. One day, the queen spoke to the king humbly that she wanted to make obeisance to Thakkyamuni Buddha image which was worshipped by the ancestors of Kapilawat kingdom in belief. The king sent his ministers to Kapilawat kingdom to convey the Buddha image to Vesali. Thakkyamuni Buddha image carried by the sailing ship to Vesali, fell into the water at Waykhanaungtheinzeetount because the sailing ship wrecked due to the storm. In such time, it has said that Waykhanaung was 120 feet in depth. However they dived into the water to look for it, they didn’t find the image. When the ministers arrived at the palace, they told the king that the Buddha image had fallen into the water. When the queen heard that news, she contracted with the psychological disease because she wanted to make obeisance to the Buddha image intensely. And then, king Maha Tine San Dra made a Buddha image from the big single block of stone and let the queen worship instead of Thakkyamuni Buddha image. The queen made a wish by donating flowers and light to the Buddha image. Her wish is “Even though I cannot make obeisance to Thakkyamuni Buddha image in the present existence, may I make obeisance to Buddha image in the next existence as a princess as soon as my mother gives birth to me.”
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King Min Ra Zar Gyi took the throne of Mraukoo in 1593 AD. Queen Khin Hnaung of king Min Ra Zar Gyi gave birth to a daughter. The messenger who wanted to tell of the birth of the daughter and the fisherman who wanted to tell of finding the Buddha image in the water when he pulled his fishing net, met at the royal court. But firstly, the fisherman told the king that he found the Buddha image in the water. Therefore, King Min Ra Zar Gyi held a great ceremony and lost of people pulled the rope tied to the Buddha image in the water. And then, when the king asked the ministers why the Buddha image didn’t appear from the water, minister Lat Way Myan, the governor of Mayou, narrated the king about king Vesali Maha Tine San Dra and his chief queen Thu Pa Bar and he told the king that the Buddha image would appear from the water only if his baby daughter conveyed it as a laywoman devotee because she was a reincarnation of queen Thu Pa Bar. The king took his daughter in the emerald cradle to Shwezeewa harbour. And, one end of the ornamental cord was wrapped around the daughter’s right hand and the other end, around the Buddha throne. And then, when the Buddha image was pulled swinging the cradle by singing the cradle song, the Buddha image gradually come out of water. Filling the foreshore with the soil, the Buddha image was placed in the cave tunnel in AD 1603.
Rakhine people call it Parabaw because it is a Buddha image appeared from the water. The Buddha image had to dwell in the water for 1276 years. The pagoda is surrounded by the great wall.
The present pagoda was built by Myanmar governor Maung San Pyaw by building terraces over the cave tunnel. The pagoda has four cardinal points at the base. Each cardinal point has a lion statue. There are entrances in the east, the south and the north. The prayer halls are in the east and the north of the pagoda. The southern prayer hall was donated by U Kywin Phyu. The pagoda is maintained by the board of trustee of the pagoda.