Monywa Thambuddhe Pagoda & Alaungdaw Kathapa
Monywa has the Thambuddhe Pagoda, plenty of other sightseeing spots such as the Chindwin river and the Alaungdaw Kathapa forest reserve and Myanmar National Park for trekking and elephant rides nearby. The great flora and fauna includes some of the last Burma tigers.
Monywa, is the gateway to the Chindwin river,
a tributary of the Ayeyawady or Irrawaddy river, 65 miles (105 km) west of Sagaing and Mandalay. It is a hub for up trade and all the agricultural products pass through the city. It is also the main route of commerce and trade through India-Myanmar Border trade. This is a great exotic travel destination, it’s not only the city itself with the marvelous Thambuddhe Pagoda or rather temple, but the whole atmosphere in the small river town.
The city is reachable from Yangon either by car, a rather difficult and very long adventure travel of about 8 – 10 hours, or by aircraft to Mandalay and from there to the west.
Further up is Chin state, Rakhine or Arakan and behind Bangladesh and India. This is one of the most attractive parts of the country because there is a incredible blend of top destinations.
First is the city by itself and the very interesting vicinity with the Powinthaung Cave Pagodas, the biggest wildlife reserve and further to the west is Chin State with two of the most interesting ethnic groups the Chin and the Naga.
The mountains where this two groups with several dozen subgroups live are real adventure travel and the people are like coming from a fairy tale, in a positive meaning.
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The annual festival of the two coincides in the same month of Thadingyut (October) and is overcrowded with tourists.
The festival bazaar opened for the occasion is extended from one temple to another almost in a straight line connecting the two shrines. All kinds of commodities, textiles, clothing, carpets, tapestries, brass wares, mats of fine textiles, beds and pillows, and many other items. Besides, there are shops catering local delicacies. This Mohnyin Thambuddhe Pagoda is just 7 miles (11.2651 km) south of the city. It was founded by the famed Mohnyin Sayadaw, after years of solitary meditation in that forested area without speaking a word to others as instructed by his Master Maha Thera Ledi Sayadaw.
Thambuddhe Pagoda Exterior
The inside is amazing big with countless
Buddha Statues in the temple
Temple and pagoda architecture
After completion of the targeted period of time, the Master permitted his pupil to build a monastery there.
It is a big and baffling question how could Mohnyin Sayadaw be able to carry out such the big task of building such a magnificent temple complex like world-famous Borobodur of Indonesia which is somehow similar in architectural design. The imposing and superb temple surrounded by satellite stupas, 864 in number bright and shining in the tropical sun from the glass mosaic covering outer and inner surfaces, each measuring 132 ft in height and gilded all over.
In the entire complex of Thambuddhe, there are colonnades of pillars resembling
the Mahabodhi Pagoda of Bagan
(the 13th century Mahabodhi), each one of the pyramidal pillars of Thambuddhe are made up of tiers, each housing row of seated Buddha images. The pillars are topped by stupas of various sizes. Not only the pillars are filled with Buddha images but the terraces and stupas all around the complex contain seated sculptures in the niches. All in all, the confounding total Buddha images are 582.363, all executed in the uniform size. The remarkable Ven. Mohnyin Sayadaw built this huge complex in 1929 on an arid and deserted land covering 37 acres. At that time, it was in the nature of a thick forest. It took more than 10 years to complete. Whoever took refuge at the pagoda area escaped the ravages of World War II as it is a noted place of purity and peace.
Buddhist Nun at Monywa City
Bodhi Tahtaung lies quite close to Thambuddhe. In the precincts a thousand Bo Trees are planted with a shrine for each tree. It is a grand and splendid sight. Moreover there is also a massive Bodhi Ta Htaung Reclining Buddha Image.
Another stupa known as Aung Setkya Pagoda is also constructed, 225 ft in height in addition to the base which is 216.75 ft, therefore the total height is 441.75 ft. The stupa is surrounded by 1060 satellite stupas.
There are almost no tourists coming to this part of the country although it is one of the most interesting in terms of culture and nature, through this Burmese National Parks. Also the proximity to the Indian border bring a lot of insights what’s going on in this remote area which is rather not so remote by distance its not far from Mandalay but since the infrastructure, in particular roads are not good at all not much people want to bear the problems. Actually the problem with bad roads, many are still from colonial times when the English built them, is everywhere in Burma.
Monywa around Bodhi Tahtaung
Close by is the famous Alaungdaw Kathapa one of the great wildlife reserves and National Park in Asia. The ideal place for adventure vacation with trekking, elephant ride, tiger and plenty of other wild animals watching, read more.
Near to the city is a copper mining project which about 20.000 tons of cathode copper output per year. The only more or less hotel is the budget level Monywa Hotel. The main reason why many people do a tour, usually out of Mandalay, are the two renowned temples in Monywa, highly revered by Buddhist devotees and pilgrims. The next attraction is Alaungdaw Kathapa a great national park and the Powintaung Cave Pagodas on the other side of the Chindwin river.