Western Myanmar

About Western Myanmar

Western Myanmar is best known for two truly amazing destinations in Rakhine State: Ngapali Beach and Mrauk U. Ngapali Beach with its golden sands and clear blue sea is perhaps the most famous beach in all of Myanmar’s vast coastline. Meanwhile, Mrauk U is an ancient capital known for its extensive complex of pagodas. Many tourists who venture this far say that it is even more impressive than the much more frequently visited Bagan.

About Sittwe

Sittwe is situated on an estuarial island at the confluence of the Kaladan River, Myu River, and Lemyo River. The location of Sittwe is between East Longitude 92deg 56′ and North Latitute 20deg 7′ and 22deg 17′. This port city of the Rakhine State sits at the mouth of the Kaladan River where it empties into the Bay of Bangal. Off shore delta islands form a wide protected channel that has served as an important harbour for many centuries. The city started as a trading port around 200 years ago and further developed after the British occupation of 1826. International trade alone the coast bloomed during the British era. Two huge cargo steamers a day plied back and forth between Calcutta and Sittwe. Scottish short-storywriter and novelist Hector Hugh Munro, known by his pen name ‘Saki’, was born here in 1870. There is a distinctive Rakhine twist on standard Myanmar culture that includes the enjoyment of much spicy food and brighter-coloured clothing. The climate in Sittwe is moderate. Rainfall in the year round is not more than 200″. Monsoon starts in the last week of May and heavy rainfall months are June, July and August. The best month of the year is November and the best travelling months are November up to February.

Interesting Places in Sittwe

Mahamuni Buddha Image – Buddhist Museum – Sittwe View Point – Thalondaw Datt Pagoda – Shwe Zedi Kyaung (Golden Monastery) – Lawkananda Pagoda – U Ottama Park – Lay Shan Taung Lighthouse

Mrauk U Destination

15 Centuries ancient capital, massive “Shitthaung” pagoda with countless BuddhaImages. “Htauk-kant Thein” noted for stone sculpture “Andaw Thein” has unique stone carving & floral design. You can visit the village of big earring ornamented THET tribe & the face tatoo, “Lay Thu” tribe. “Dhanyawady” & “Wesali” ancient capitals are reached by coach.
Temples of Mrauk U Unlike Bagan (pagan), where temple ruins ate strewn over a vast plain, the ruins of Mrauk U sit on or against bulffs in hilly terrain, interlaced with streams and leafy trees. The major sites 1km or 2km northeast of town, there are lots of stupas next to the town itself, especially on hillocks along the stream at the southern end of town- a very nice area for sunrise.
Altogether, there are around 70 named temples, stupa or city-wall sites around Mrauk U, plus dozens of other unnamed sites.

Interesting Places in Mrauk U

Koe Thaung Temple - Shittaung Pagoda - Law Ka Man Aung Pagoda - Ratana San Rwe - Andaw Thein Temple - Rakhine State Culture Museum - Mrauk U Archaeological Museum - Mrauk U Palace - Lay Shan Taung Lighthouse - Ngapali Golf resort - Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda - Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda - Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda - Yadanar Pon Pagoda - Dukkanthein - Pitakataik - Sanda Muni Pagoda - Lemyathnar Pagoda - Zina Man Aung Pagoda - Shwedaung Pagoda - Sanda Muni Buddha

Koe Thaung Temple

Koe-Thaung translates to “shrine of the 90,000 images of the Buddha”, referring to the number of Buddha images that it contained. The temple was built in 1553 to gain religious merit by King Min Dikkha, the son of Min Bin who built the Shite-Thaung (“temple of the 80,000 images of the Buddha”) three decades earlier. The massive Koe-Thaung temple is built of stone walls and stone terraces and has a maze like interior. Its entrance is on the East side. The temple is surrounded by five receding terraces on which a large number of small stupas stand. At the center of the Koe-Thaung is a large circular bell shaped stupa.

Shittaung Pagoda

Shitthaung or “temple of the 80.000 Buddhas” located about half a mile to the north of the palace site was built by one of the most powerful kings of the Mrauk U Dynasty. called by the people. Minbargyi. It is an ancient temple. in Mrauk U of northern Rakhine state. Myanmar.

Law Ka Man Aung Pagoda

The architecture of this pagoda is in the form of four steps. The base step is a square shape with four statues at each corner. From the second to the topmost step. there are small pagodas at each corner. Inside the pagoda. there is a 12 feet high Buddha image made of stone. In A.D 1676. King Oakka Balar became a monk in this pagoda’s compound and at such a time. was also called Lawkamu Pagoda. The pagoda has a wall measuring 300 feet around the base and 100 feet high.The old roads to Vesali and Mahamuni begin here. These roads are still known as the gold road and the silver road.

Andaw Thein Temple

The Andaw Pagoda of Mrauk U means the Pagoda enshrining the tooth-relic of Buddha. The pagoda is located about 86 feet from the Shittaung Pagoda in the north-east direction. Min Hla Raza was the original builder of this pagoda in 1521 A.D. Due to some damaged parts. the King of Mrauk U. Minrazagyi reconstructed this pagoda in 1596 A.D. The central tower of the shrine contains the tooth-relic of Buddha. It was originally obtained from Sri Lanka by King Minbin (1534-1542 A.D.)

Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda

Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Man” paya of Mrauk U. This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung. Zeenat Man Aung. Sakkya Man Aung. Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. In Myanmar known as “Man Ngar Par”. The pagoda was built in the intention of respecting the Three Gems: Three Ratana of Buddhism. Myanmar Buddhists believe that the followings are the 3 invaluable gems in life.

Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda

This pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered “Mann” paya of Mrauk U. King Sri Suddhamma Raja built the Sakkyar Man Aung Pagoda in A.D 1629. It is located in the south of Yadanar Man Aung Pagoda.This Pagoda is known to be one of the five most revered pagodas in Mrauk U. The five revered “Man” payas of Mrauk U are Lawka Man Aung. Zeenat Man Aung. Sakkya Man Aung. Mingalar Man Aung and Yadanar Man Aung. The pagoda was built with stones instead of bricks. The base consist of 8 braces joined to form an irregular octagon. From the first tier upward the structure is octagonal. the sides over the four main braces form a straight line. and the intermediate braces are in the zigzag design forms. The western gate of the pagoda is guarded by two large kneeling orgres.

Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda

Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda was donated by the son of King Sanda Thudhamma Raza. known as King Oakkalapa. Built in A.D 1685. Some facts say that the Mingalar Man Aung Pagoda was erected by King Narapatigyi. The pagoda is built by stones instead of bricks. The pagoda is guarded with walls in a square shape. Each side of the wall has an entry gate with a leading path to the pagoda. There are 8 surrounding small pagodas. There are stone Buddha statues inside the small pagodas. There are lots of architectural remains of Mrauk U time.

Yadanar Pon Pagoda

Yadanar Pon Pagoda was built in A.D 1612. and was donated by King Min Khamaung and Queen Shin Htwe. There are seventeen smaller pagodas around the main pagoda. The main pagoda is circular at the base and measure a height of 200 feet. The pagoda was destroyed during the World War II and now has been renovated based on the original structure. The main pagoda and its surround smaller pagodas do not have any entrance. niches. arches nor any ornamentation. The main pagoda resembles the shape of a huge bell. The whole structure is enclosed within an octagonal border. The entrance of the wall consist of stone lions guarding the pagodas. No floral decoration of any kind can be found on this pagoda. Traditionally. it is believed that the pagoda was built for the purpose of acquiring or securing treasures. both mundane and spiritual.

Dukkanthein

Dukkanthein also called as Htukanthein or Htoekanthein. stands on a hill which is about 30 feet in height. Its structure is like a flat surface in the form of a drum. King Minphalaung built the pagoda in 1571 A.D. Like most of the ancient monuments in Mrauk U. Dukkanthein was built with sandstones and layers of bricks over the roof. The measurement of the temple is 190 feet from north to south and 200 feet from east to west.

Pitakataik

Pitakataik which lies close to Htupayon Pagoda and south of Shinkite wall was built by King Min Phalaung. It was square in plan with an entrance passage to the east like others pagoda in Mrauk U. Built entirely with stone. the outer walls are decorated with ornate floral and geometric design. It is said that there were 33 Pitakataiks. built in Mrauk U. The little library or Pitakataik. the Repository for the Buddhist scriptures was built in 1591 also by king Min Phalaung.

Sanda Muni Pagoda

Sanda Muni Buddha Image is now located in Bandoola Monastery. of Mrauk U. During A.D 123. Gautama Buddha came to Mrauk U and from that time on. people started to believe in Buddhism and had beliefs in worshipping Buddha images and Pagodas. A long time ago. King Sanda Thuriya reigned the Rakhine territory. When Gautama Buddha came to Mrauk U. the king begged for making of images as a symbol representing the real Buddha. So. he made 4 Muni Buddha images which are

(1) Maha Myat Muni (located at Mandalay)

(2) Shwebonthar Muni (located at Pyay)

(3) Zalun Pyaydawpyan (located at Zalun)

(4) Maha Muni (located at Sittwe)

Lemyathnar Pagoda

About a distance of 150 feet to the northwest of the Dukkhanthein Pagoda is the Laymyetnha Pagoda or “the four-faced pagoda”. The central tower is circular and has the shape of a dome. with a circumference of 80 feet at the base and is 70 feet high. There are 28 Buddha images as mentioned in the Sambuddha scripture.

Zina Man Aung Pagoda

Zina Man Aung Pagoda is located on top of the Pandein Taung hill. It is situated on the south side of the old palace ruins. The structure of the pagoda is octagonal in shape. At the base. there is a mouse with two bodies and a head. On the higher level. there are two more mice. This pagoda was built and donated by King Sanda Thuddhamma during A.D 1652. The king first built the stupa at the south side of this pagoda. That one seemed to be small and he again built another larger one and named Zina Man Aung Pagoda.

Shwedaung Pagoda

The Shwe Daung Pagoda or the “Golden Hill Pagoda” is also believed to have been built by King Minbin between the years 1531-1553. It is a landmark pagoda as it is the tallest in this area and can be seen as far away as 20 miles from the main Kaladan River. The hill itself is 250 feet high and is about half a mile to the south-east of the Palace Site.
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