Two Giant Chinthe Lions, built in 1799 were designed to be the guardians of the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, to scare away evil forces.
Unfortunately the giant lions were damaged during the earthquake in 1839 and their massive heads have fallen off.
If you walk around to the river side of the lions you can see how the internal structure of the lions was made. It is a brick structure which was then covered with an outer render coating which was what was carved.
From the rear you can see the tail of the lion all the way down the center until it goes under the seated lion.
The lions are sometimes referred to as Chinthes or Leogryphs, both have similar meanings. Chinthes are mythical beasts made from a combination of two parts, usually a lion and a dog. Leogryphs are mythical beasts formed from a combination of a lion and a gryphon (griffin/gryphon).
You will find these mythical beast figures guarding the main entrance to many pagodas and temples throughout Myanmar, thou not as large as the Mingun Giant Lions.
From the Giant Lions walk directly accross the main street to Mingun Pahtodawgyi.