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Mawlamyine is the capital of Mon State, situated at the mouth of the Thanlwin River. Located 28 miles from the sea, it is the second busiest seaport & third largest city in Myamar. There are many pagodas and stupas in Mawlamyaine. In this region one can see Mahamyat Muni Buddha Image, Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, Sein Taung Queen monastery and sunset from U khan Ti pagoda Hill. Choungzon, Mudon, Kyaikmayaw, Thanphyuzayat are famous places to be visited. In Mudon there is the world biggest Buddha Image (Win Sein Taw Ya Reclining Buddha Image). there are several houses as an old British style. Thanphyuzayat, there is WWII cemetery of Allied forces and most of them were from death railway between Myanmar and Thailand. Continue to significant Kyaik-Kami Yayle pagoda by the sea and beautiful Set-Se beach resort. Many ancient heritage can be found in Thaton, an ancient town. It’s also an attractive and tropical town with a ride of stupa-capped hills on one side and the sea on the others. Like the rest of Mon State, Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat and Kyaikhkami have a hot and wet climate.
Kyaik-Than-Lan pagoda was erected in 875 A.D. during the reign of King Mutpi Raja. A hair relic of the Buddha, Tripitaka manuscripts and gold images of the Buddha were enshrined in the pagoda. Successive kings raised the pagoda higher, from 56 feet to the present 150 feet. The present base of the pagoda is 450 feet in circumference. There are 34 small pagodas called Zediyan surrounding the pagoda.
This pagoda is named after a person called U Zina, but no one really knows who he was. Some say that U Zina was a sage who lived at thc time of king Asoka, and that U Zina was just a villager who while collecting shoots on the hill where the pagoda now stands, found a pot of gold buried in a bamboo grove. The villager and his wife became rich and built this pagoda on the hill which gave up its treasure to them. The old Mon name for this pagoda is Kyaikpatan, named after the white hill on which it stands. Legend says it was first built in the 3rd century B.C.
This is a replica of the Maha Muni Image at Mandalay. The Seindon Mibaya-gyi, a prominent Queen of King Mindon from Mandalay, went to live Mawlamyine after the Annexation. She and other members of the Myanmar Royal Family who were in Mawlamyine, felt a great longing to pay homage to the Maha Muni Image, and they arranged for a replica to be made in 1904. The building of this Pagoda was led by Sayadaw Waziya-yama, a prominent Buddhist monk, and Daw Shwe Bwin of Mawlamyine. The great image made in Mandalay was brought to Naga-with a Hill on the Mawlamyine Ridge,where a large building, a Gandakudi Taik, was erected to house it. The nearby monastery named after its donor, the Seindon Mibaya kyaung has some excellent wood-carvings which are over a hundred years old.
About 34 km from Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat was the starting point of the "Death Railway" connecting Myanmar and Thailand with the Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the Japanese during World War II. There is a well-kept Allied War Memorial Cemetery for prisoners-of-war who died while building the "Death Railway" during World War II; the Railway Museum and a Japanese-built pagoda in memory of the perished Japanese engineers and prisoners-of-war.
The Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is one of the most ancient and celebrated of all pagodas in Myanmar. It is situated in the vicinity of Kyaikhto Township of the Mon State, south east of Yangon. The pagoda is said to have been built during the life time of the Buddha over 2500 years ago. This magnificent "Golden Rock Pagoda" is the most popular tourist attraction in Mon State.
The name Kyaikhtiyo was derived from "Kyaik-ithi-yo". The word 'ithi' in Pali means hermit while the word 'Kyaik' means 'pagoda' and 'yo' is 'to carry on the hermit's head' in Mon language respectively. Therefore Kyaikhtiyo means "The pagoda carried on the hermit's head". The tradition is that after the hermit had obtained the Hair from the Buddha, he was carrying it on his head inside his hair knot till he found a boulder, which resembled his head, and so he built the pagoda on the boulder enshrining the Hair relic.
The mystical Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda stands on a gold gilded boulder, precariously perched on the edge of the steep cliff over 1,100 m above sea level. However, it never comes out of the balance although it had faced many powerful earthquakes. Although the upper boulder appears to be attached to the edge of the base rock, the two are actually not joined together at all. Legend states that there was a time when the top boulder was levitating absolutely free from the base rock, to the extent that a hen could sit between them. By gently rocking the boulder a thread can be passed underneath; seemingly appears as if the additional weight of a few pounds, or a strong wind, would send it sliding down from the place it has occupied for unknown centuries watching over three thousand feet into the sloping valley beneath.
Kyaikhtiyo is 160 km from Yangon and can be reached either by car or train. There is a well-beaten path up to the top of the mountain from the base-camp called Kinpun. Devotees usually climb uphill about 13 km on foot taking about 7 hours or more from the base-camp. Another option is to sit on the loading area of open trucks that carry passengers to a so-called middle camp through a steep and windy road. From there, all the visitors have to walk up the remaining 4 km on steep tracks of 500 m in altitude. An easy alternative for those who cannot manage the way on foot is to sit on sedan chairs carried by four porters to the top.
The charm of the tropical forest and the warm smile of the pilgrims that you are likely to see along the winding path going up will surely soothe away your fatigue and your tired feet. Once you are on top, the panoramic view of the surrounding areas of hilly hinterland in haze is so breathtaking that you would not forget the experience and wish you could come back again. There is also a popular belief that a person gains in wealth when he climbs the hill every year.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock annually beginning from October to March which is the seasonal pilgrimage period for worshippers. Especially on the full moon day of Tabaung (March), the platform of the pagoda is lighted with ninety thousand candles offered to the Buddha and thousands of worshippers gather around the pagoda offering flowers, fruits, food and incense to the Buddha.
408A, Yuzana Condo Tower, 69, Shwegondine Rd, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 11201
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