Compassionate Travel Myanmar

ကရုဏာ ခရီးသြားလုပ္ငန္း

Monwya

Monwya

Destination Explanations

Specialist Subject: Monwya

Monywa is the capital city of Sagaing division and situated  in central Myanmar; on the eastern bank of the Chindwin Rive. It lies 136 km north-west of Mandalay along the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line. Monywa serves as a major trade center for India and Burma through Kalay Myo by road and Chindwin river. In the last few years with the legalizing of the border trade with India. Monywa has grown into a bustling trading.

   

In Monywa there are busy markets; popular restuarants, If you are travelling to Monwya by car you should stop about 20 kilometres before you reach the town to visit this most unusual Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land which is part of the Mohnyin Forest Monastery retreat. The pagoda was started on 20th June 1939 and completed on 2nd March 1952.It was the brain-child of the famous Mohnyin Sayadaw whose life-like effigy can be seen nearby.

If you can go at the beginning of the Myanmar month of Tazaungmone ( usually around November). you can see the annual pagoda festival. which goes on for several days when the villagers from all around come to enjoy the music and dancing. and buy from the various stalls set up by sellers from all over the country.

Interesting Places

Thanboddhay Pagoda

   

If you are travelling to Monwya by car you should stop about 20 kilometres before you reach the town to visit this most unusual Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land which is part of the Mohnyin Forest Monastery retreat. The pagoda was started on 20th June 1939 and completed on 2nd March 1952.It was the brain-child of the famous Mohnyin Sayadaw whose life-like effigy can be seen nearby.

Some visitors say that this Pagoda reminds them of Borobodur. as it is similar in architectural design. Unlike Borobodur this is a modern place of worship. well maintained. and with interesting samples of modern Buddhist art. There are many different Buddha images. row upon row in ascending tiers in niches along the walls: the total number is 582. 257. an amazing figure! Unlike most of the pagodas in Myanmar. the entrance is not guarded by Chinthes. the mythical lions. but by statues of a pair of magnificant white elephants which are sacred and auspicious in Buddhist symbolism.

Thanboddhay is the only pagoda with this unique shape in the whole country. The square temple base (each side about 166 feet) which worshippers can enter is topped by receding terraces. with myriads of small stupas (864 in number) surrounding the central golden chedi. 132 feet in height.

Tourists can study and take photos of the twenty tagundaing. huge decorated pillars. and also big masonary fruits in the shape of bunches of bananas and coconuts. water melon. mangos. jackfruits. papaya and so on . These fruits are also objects of veneration for the local farmers.

If you can go at the beginning of the Myanmar month of Tazaungmone ( usually around November). you can see the annual pagoda festival. which goes on for several days when the villagers from all around come to enjoy the music and dancing. and buy from the various stalls set up by sellers from all over the country.

Travel Tips

Entrance Fees : US$3

Bodhi Tahtaung and Tallest Standing Buddha Image f Myanmar

From Thanboddhay Pagoda you can go by car about five miles along a good branch road to Po Khaung Taung. a small range of hills in the Monywa area. There you will see more unusual sights not found in other parts of Myanmar.

First you should stop for a while in the fast growing forest of one thousand Bodhi trees (Ficus religiosa); this Bo or pipal tree is sacred to all Buddhists because Gaudama Buddha attained Enlightenment while meditating under this tree.

A much venerated Sayadaw now popularly known as the Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw who can make your wishes come true. first started planting this forest grove about two decades ago. Each tree has a large Buddha image underneath. and many Buddhist come to pay obseisance there. It is a pleasant. peaceful place. filled with the song of birds. in a protected environment where nature and men are in perfect harmony.

Just beyond Bodhi Tahtaung. a short stroll towards the east will bring you to the Po Khaung Taung. a range of hills where you can see one of the largest reclining Buddha images in the world. Measuring 300 ft in length it is even bigger than the colossal Shwethalyaung reclining Buddha image in Bago (Pegu) which has a length of 180 ft. only. The head is 60 ft. in height. It was only built in 1991 and up to now there is still no roof or shelter to protect it from the elements.

This huge image has a hollow cave-like structure inside and you can walk from the head to the feet. You will then see inside 9.000 one foot high metal images of the Buddha and his disciples in various postures. There are also representations of some of the important events in the life of the Buddha.

If you are interested in Buddha footprints you can study the 108 auspicious symbols which are depicted on the soles of this huge image.

mone ywar market

Destination Explanations

Specialist Subject: About Monwya
Monywa is situated on the banks of the Chindwin River 136 kilometres west of Mandalay. Because of the industry that surrounds the town, it has a more dynamic feel than other regional centres in Myanmar: its riverfront is enjoyable to amble down; it has some lively markets; and its main street (between the clock tower and the Bogyoke Aung San statue) comes alive after dark, with a vibrant atmosphere and numerous food stalls and beer stations. Bear in mind, however, that this is small-town Myanmar, and places close early.

where to next

Inle Lake & Shan State
Mandalay
Pagodas in ShweBo