The Fifth Council took place in Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar) in 1871 A.D. in the reign of King Mindon. The chief objective of this meeting was to recite all the teachings of the Buddha and examine them in minute detail to see if any of them had been altered, distorted or dropped. It was presided over by three Elders, the Venerable Mahathera Jagarabhivamsa, the Venerable Narindabhidhaja, and the Venerable Mahathera Sumangalasami in the company of 2,400 monks. Their joint Dhamma recitation lasted five months.
It was also the work of this council to cause the entire Tipitaka to be inscribed on 729 marble slabs for posterity in the Myanmar script after its recitation. Each marble slab was 5 1/2 feet high, 3 1/2 feet wide and about 5 inches thick. This monumental task was done by many skillful craftsmen. Upon completion, each slab was housed in beautiful "miniature Pitaka" pagodas on a special site in the grounds of King Mindon's Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It is the largest book in the world that stands to this day.