King Mindon of Burma wanted to leave something to posterity. As a book lover he thought that literature was one of the most valuable elements of an enlightened society so he planned to leave a book behind him. Not any old book though – this would be the largest book in the world.
To get an idea of the scale of the whole incredible project, there is a model of the whole book system in the museum area of the site. You can see the central golen pagoda clearly here.