Sagaing - The Landscape Studded with Pagodas and Monasteries
by Blake Johnson Apr 27, 2017
Sagaing is one of the religious and monastic centers in Myanmar, with hundreds of white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries dotted in green tree-covered hills. It is located on the western bank of Irrawaddy River and about 21 kilometers southwest of Mandalay. Sagaing was also the capital of the Shan Kingdom in the 14th century and once again in the 18th century. Today Sagaing becomes an attractive destination for tourists all over the world, especially those who worship Buddhism.
Almost tourists to Mandalay, across Irrawaddy River, pay a visit to this pretty town. Coming here, you can climb rolling green hillsides, visit to shrines and stupas, and contemplate magnificent views of the river and surrounding areas. In this post, we want to recommend you several attractive destinations you should not miss out for wonderful experiences in Sagaing.
Not-to-be-missed Places to Visit in Sagaing
Soon U Pon Nya Shin Pagoda
Soon U Pon Nya Shin Pagoda is one of the oldest temples located on the top of Ngapha hill, which is thought to resemble a giant frog. The central 30 meter-high gilded pagoda was originally built in 1312 by Pon Nya, a minister of the kingdom, acquired via a supernatural flight from Sagaing to the Himalayas. He was also the first person ready to offer alms at dawn and having prepared the food earlier than anyone else in all of Sagaing. Up to now, this pagoda has known as the first one in Sagaing to offer alms to monks each morning. Moreover, it is the place that enshrines Buddha relics revered by successive kings. You can be impressed by its decoration with glass tiles for an unusual shimmering effect as well as by interesting paintings and statues, and fantastic surrounding views.
U Min Thonze Pagoda
Another great find at the top of the hill is the U Min Thonze Pagoda (in Burmese, "U Min" means "caves" and "Thonze" means "thirty"). This pagoda is famed for its crescent-shaped colonnade of 45 seated Buddha images, partly built into the side of the Sagaing Hill. Each Buddha statue is unique in different sizes and facial expression.
After discover these statues, you can climb even farther to the hilltop to see the beauty of green valley below and the many stupas. It is an amazing experience. Early morning or later afternoon are the best times to visit the pagoda as well as Sagaing Hill for you if you want to enjoy great views under the best weather, but not too hot as afternoon time.
Located on the northwest subburbs of Sagaing, Kaungmudaw Pagoda is a huge pagoda which was built by King Thalun and his son in A.D 1636 and was completed 12 years later at the end of Thalun’s reign. There are up to more than 800 stone pillars standing around the base of Kaungmudaw pagoda. Each 1.5-meter high records all the statistics and data during its construction process as historical witnesses. The pagoda’s domed roof had been continuously painted white as a sign of purity but now gilded with gold. It has become an important pilgrimage and tourist destination in the Sagaing area.
The old Inwa Bridge was built by the British in 1934, connecting the Inwa town to Sagaing. It is about 1 kilometer in long. However, in 1942, during the Second World War, the bridge was partly demolished and not repaired until 1954. It has 16 spans and 2 decks - one for cars and one for trains. Here is an ideal place for you to take nice photos of the Irrawaddy River, especially stunning sunrise and sunset. It is interesting see the boats, local people as well as the beauty of their land.
Shwe Kyat Kya Pagoda
Shwe Kyat Kya Pagoda is reverely located at the riverside of Irrawaddy River in Sagaing. In Burmese, Shwe Kyat Kya means “Golden Fowl’s Run”, which is related to a local legend from one of Buddha's supposed past lives as a chicken. The pagoda is one of the pair with the bigger Shwe Kye Tyet pagoda on a gentle rise across the road. Therefore, you can pay a visit to both these two beautiful pagoda for your wonderful trip.
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