Visiting some Pagodas at Sagaing in Myanmar.
Sagaing is around 20kms south-west of Mandalay and is reached by crossing the Irrawaddy River (or Ayeyarwady River) by one of two bridges. The original Ava Bridge was built by British engineers in 1934 and then again in 1954 as the original bridge was destroyed during WW2. It is a cantilever bridge which has 16 spans and is two tiered to carry a railway track and a road. The newer three span New Ava Bridge has just three spans and was built in 2008 - it carries a four lane highway over the river.
Sagaing was the capital of Burma for two brief periods - 1315 to 1364 and from 1760 to 1764. There are numerous temples, spires, stupas and monasteries many of
which are dotted around Sagaing Hill. Near Ava Bridge is the Htupuryon Paya - this huge stupa was originally built in 1444 and has three circular sections with arched niches. It makes a quite unusual sight especially when seen from high up the hill (from Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for instance).
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The Kaungmudaw Pagoda - Sagaing area near Mandalay, Myanmar. This Pagoda is around 10kms from the centre of Sagaing on the far side of the hill. It is one of the busiest pagodas in the area being very popular with local people as well as for tourist group visits. The Pagoda was built in 1636 by King Thalun and it is a perfect hemispherical shape. It has been recently gilded and this huge golden dome is 151 feet and 900 feet in circumference - it rises with three terraces the lower of which is decorated and carved. Set in a pleasant tree-lined area this Pagoda is popular with locals
so there are plenty of stalls selling artifacts, crafts and souvenirs.
They also sell bundles of wood which is subsequently ground into paste and gives a sandalwood fragrance (Thanaka comes from Murraya and Limonia trees and shrubs). The habit of applying Thanaka has been in evidence in Burma for several thousand years - women wear it on their faces as it is meant to be good for skin conditioning, is also a sun-barrier as well as being used simply as makeup.
Sagaing Temple walkways
Soon U Ponya Shin bell tower
Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda - Saigon Hill in Myanmar. This Pagoda is sat on the top of a 240 foot high hill and from the various viewpoints there are probably the best views possible of Sagaing and the river. There are quite a few temples and pagodas visible below many of which are connected by covered walkways which snake through the hills.
Soon U Ponya Shin Buddha
Soon U Ponya Shin Buddhas
Sun U Ponya Shin Monastery
Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda
The Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda is sometimes called the Sun U Ponya Shin Pagoda and dates from 1312 which was just before the area became the Royal Capitol for the first time. There are various buildings around the site including a nice clock tower. The main pagoda has a 97 foot gilded stupa and the courtyards are lined with beautiful
walkways in gold and green. There is a small hall which has turquoise glass mosaics and this contains gold-robed Buddha's.
Our other items about Mandalay and surrounding area.
Other destinations in the Far East which are reasonably easy to reach from Myanmar and for which we have travel and touring guides are Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam - please see our above Home Page for these or visit our Resources Page