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Home > Myanmar Highlights > Mandalay & Surroundings > Sagaing


In-city highlights Amarapura Inwa Sagaing Mingun Pyin Oo Lwin

Sagaing, the living centre of Buddhist faith

Although the capital of the biggest division (province) in Myanmar, Sagaing seems to be a sleepy, quiet, and dusty experience of any Burmese towns of upper Myanmar. It is possibly due to its closed proximity of the second largest city, Mandalay where most of the regional businesses are based that located just 23km southwest of Mandalay towards the northwestern gateway town of Monywa. Sagaing was the capital of an independent Shan Kingdom in 1315AD at the downfall of Bagan. Later, Sagaing was integrated with Inwa in 1364. Then again, it became the short-lived capital of Burmese in 1760 to 1764 but its importance in Myanmar history is fairly minor. In Burmese sayings: “when you are young, seek for the knowledge”, “when you are an adult, seek for the wealth”, “when you are old, seek for the enlightenment”. In fact, Sagaing is a place where refugees from the hectic pace of urban life come to retreat for a day or a lifetime. The city reverberates with echoes of cymbals, gongs, and pagoda bells as there are around 5000 monks and nuns residing in the over 500 monasteries and nunneries…some beside the road while many of them hidden in the hills of Sagaing topped with dazzling myriads of whitewashed pagodas so picturesquely scattered on the banks of legendary Ayarwaddy River, while the Burmese from Mandalay gaze Sagaing Hills as a “foothill’ of mystical Mt Meru when the lights up in the evening.

Kaungmudaw pagoda

The unique and gigantic shape of this pagoda lies 10km northwest of Sagaing and dated to 1636AD. King Thalun built this pagoda to house the tooth of Buddha and miracle-working emerald bowl relocated from Bago, the former Burmese capital of 16th century. A perfect hemisphere dome rise 46-m and 274-m in circumference. The road to this pagoda passes several pagoda ruins left from between 14th and 18th centuries.

Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda

Perched on the highest point of Sagaing Hills overlooking the numerous pagodas, monasteries, snake-like staircases & caves that dominate the lush green treetops bordered with the huge bend of Ayarwaddy River is the 14th century stupa and undoubtedly a good spot for the photo enthusiastic.

U Min Thonze Pagoda

A line of 45 Buddha images bask in a soft light, arranged in a semi-circle or crescent shaped colonnade.

Tilawkaguru Cave

A cave-temple built in 1672AD has fine mural paintings of Inwa period.

Ywathaung Village

This village is known for outstanding craftsmanship of Burmese style silverwares. The production method used here is very old in the 21st century but it is worth seeing how the remarkably beautiful items are being produce.




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