Magway

Mya Thalon Pagoda can be seen from the river Ayeyarwady as it was built on the edge of the steep bank of theAyeyarwadyriver at Magwe, a divisional capital in central Myanmar. It is one of the pagodas which have the legend in connection the Lord Buddha while he was alive. It is said that the emerald cot (myathalon in Burmese) on which the Lord Buddha rested during his visit to this place, was enshrined in the pagoda.According to legend the original pagoda had a height of about 55.5 feet (16.9 m) and was built by U Baw Gyaw and his wife the daughter of a certain MahaBawga, a man of great wealth with an official title.King Saw Lu (1077-1084) of Bagan encapsulated the original pagoda and raised it to a height of 87 feet (26.5 m). In 1847, it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt by the mayor of the town Min Din Min HlaKyawGaung. The pagoda was rebuilt to the present height of approximately 104 feet (31.7m).

Mann Shwe Set Taw Pagoda Festival is one of the most significant Pagoda festivals in Upper Myanmar. It is 36 miles from Magway to the Mann Shwe Set Taw which is also well known as Mann footprint across Ayeyarwaddy River bridge. Magwe. Actually there are two pagodas: the Auk Set Taw Ya or the Lower and the Ahtet Set Taw Ya, the Upper.The pagoda history tells us that in the 12th year after Lord Buddha attained his Enlightenment. He came to this area with a retinue of 500 followers. At that time the present Mann Chaung (Mann Creek) was known as Namada and here lived a Dragon King. Once this Dragon King invited Lord Buddha to his realm for worship and at the request of this Dragon King, Lord Buddha left an imprint of His feet on the banks of the present Mann Chaung. This day this place is known as Auk Set Taw Ya(Lower Golden Footprint).

NagapwetTaung is near Myathalon Pagoda in Minbu town. Unlike regular volcanoes, there is no heating involved and in fact, the mud is cool to the touch. The landscape is in Minbu looks like the surface of the moon (if the satellite had active geology) with multiple vents bubbling out of ever-growing craters in the ground. The area is revered as a religious site by the locals who hold the tradition that the volcanoes are powered by dragons deep within the earth.

It is located in Pwintbyu Township, Minbu District, Magway Region. It was said that Buddha and five hundred disciples came to Sandalwood Monastery to preach Dhamma to the disciples. In 1640, King Alaungsithu came up on the place while on a tour of the nation. He built the Sandalwood Pagoda at the Sandalwood Monastery site. Kyaung Taw Yar Pagoda is visited not only by the human pilgrims, but also by fish pilgrims! The giant river catfish appear in the Moneriver during the Buddhist’s lent – July to September – for 3 months. People believe that the fish come to pay homage to the Buddha. They appear on the full moon day of Waso (4th month of Myanmar calendar) and disappear after the full moon day of Thidinkyut (the 7th month of the Myanmar calendar). Human pilgrims feed them the pop-corn, rice cakes and dried bread.

TantkyiTaung Pagoda, located across the Ayeyarwady River in Pakokku District, Magway Division, Myanmar is a prominent Burmese Buddhist pagoda near the historic city of Bagan, believed to enshrine four tooth relics of Gautama Buddha.TantkyiTaung or the Tantkyi hill is situated on the western side of Ayeyarwaddyriver which falls on the other side of Bagan. On the Tantkyi Hill lies a Pagoda and is known as the TantkyiTaung Pagoda. The TantkyiTaung Pagoda was built during A.D 1059 by King Anawrahta. King Vizaraba from Sri Lanka donated one of Buddha’s tooth relics and King Anawrahta duplicated with another one and embedded in the sacred place inside this pagoda.

There are 32 statues of elephants made in ratio to different directions at the base of the pagoda. It is an octagonal shaped designed platform on which the pagoda resides. Many years have passed by but still the pagoda is maintained by time to time. It takes about half a day to travel and visit this place. There are ferries carrying visitors across the Ayeyarwaddyriver, early every morning. Tant Kyi Taung Pagoda is 90 feet (27 m) high with the base of 60 feet (18 m). Its nine tiers of umbrella contains a silver vane and the diamond bud. It has been renovated in successive periods. It has an image of Lord Buddha, a statue ofAnanda and that of the forest guardian. A look down from the pagoda platform reveals the head of a dragon protruding from the walking down below. It is said that the tail end of this likeness of the dragon is around the site of Shwezigon.

Thihoshin Pagoda is located near the village of Pakokku in Magway Region. Pakokku is an old traditional town on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. This pagoda festival is the most important for all towns west of the Ayeyawady and products from the region, such as dried chili, homespun baskets and tobacco are sold every year at this huge country fair. The best thanakha trees, the bark of which is pounded to make the purely organic make-up cream used by many Myanmar women, grow in this area.

Min Hla Fort is located in Min Hla, a small town in Magway Region resting on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. After the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852, the British had annexed all of lower Myanmar, including Yangon and Bago. In 1854, British troops were deployed at Thayat, about 60 miles south of Min Hla and close to territory still held by the Myanmar kingdom.Crown Prince Kanaung, the younger brother of King Mindon, began preparations to establish forts at Min Hla and KwayChaung on opposing banks of the Ayeyarwady River in 1860.Now more than 150 years old, the gigantic red brick MinHla fort on the river’s edge, built with the assistance of two Italian engineers, Commotto and Molinari, is a lasting relic of an era of upheaval. Min Hla fort was called into action in November 1885 when the British sailed up the Irrawaddy River to claim the Royal Palace at Mandalay during the decisive Third Anglo-Burmese War.These days, the historic forts of the last Myanmar royal dynasty are under the care of the Ministry of Culture. Min Hla fort is a major tourist attraction for those who take a cruise along the Ayeyarwady River.

Salay Yoke SoneKyaung is a colorful old religious center in Central Myanmar and a cultural heritage site in Salay which is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is about 1 ½ hours south of Bagan. Salay Yoke SoneKyaung was built in AD 1882. There are very beautiful artistic work wood carvings around it and also ancient Buddha image, utensils of Yadanabon 19 century period. It is famous for its spectacular wood carvings and also it is the native town of the famous writer Salay U Pone Nya during the time of the Myanmar Kings.

Pakhan Gyi Area in Yesagyo Township in the west bank of Chindwin (and Ayeyarwaddy) river in the central Myanmar is rich in traditional cultural handiwork. Among so many ancient buildings in the region, ancient Pakhan Gyi monastery is a well known building which was constructed by King Mindon in 1886. The monastery was built in the shape of a royal residence attached with four large halls namely the Shrine hall, the Sanu hall, the main hall and the Bawga hall.It was an important Buddhist teaching school in the old times. Monks and people from many places came to study in Pakhan Gyi monastery. The banisters of the five brick staircases of the monastery were decorated with the artistic work of reliefs with stucco. The magnificent monastery is a wooden building with 254 huge wooden pillars. All the pillars are set on brick plinths. Board bands added as exterior trim to conceal floor edges, and joints were inserted fittingly into the pillars as in most of the ancient Myanmar buildings. Tie-beams of the tiers on the monastery were inflated into the pillars without nailing.

The ruining monastery was repaired in 1992 according to its ancient original form. Wooden pillars along the corridors of the monastery were decorated with cement screens. Doors and windows were also adorned with superb craftsmanship of Yadanabon period. Doors and windows had no hinges but chains and revolving mechanism of axis were used in place of the hinges. Each pillar of the monastery was 90 feet high without joints and its circumference was 8 feet. Partitions reaching from the floor to the ceiling in the hall of the monastery were also adorned with diamond shape figures.The dais for monks of the ancient monastery was decorated with various types of elegant wood carvings similar to that of Ramayana Jataka. The Jataka is played in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries in their own styles as well as in Myanmar where the dance styles of the Jataka were carved in wooden handicrafts. Myanmar People in ancient times used to chew squid of betel; hence holes for spitting betel spittle could be seen in the floor of the monastery.

BeikthanoPyu City is located 19 km northwest of Taungdwingyi Township, Magway Region and 32 km from the east bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, in the middle portion of the arid central plain of Myanmar.The ancient city of Beikthano covered an area of 3.3 square miles. The eastern city wall was 10.000 feet in length. the northern wall was 9.000 feet. the southern wall was 8.000 feet. while the western wall has collapsed owing to soil erosion caused by the action of the Yanpè Creek. Its remains—the structures, pottery, artefacts, and human skeletons—date from 200 BCE to 100 CE. Named after the Hindu god Vishnu, the city may be the first capital of a culturally and perhaps even politically uniform state in the history of Burma. It was a large fortified settlement, measuring approximately 300 hectares inside the rectangular (3 km by 1 km) walls. The walls and fortifications along it measured six meters thick, and are radiocarbon dated to a period between 180 BCE and 610 CE. Like most subsequent cities, the main entrance of the walls led to the palace, which faced east. Stupas and monastic buildings have also been excavated within the city walls. It is one city of Pyu Cities of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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