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Bago Division
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Places to Visit
How to Reach

Bago Region is served by Pyay Airport.

Key places to visit
Bago Myanmar, Shwethalyaung Buddha, Shwemawdaw Paya, Hintha Gon Paya, Kyaik Pun Paya, Shwegugale Paya, Shwesandaw Paya, Thayekhittaya


Places to Visit

Bago Myanmar

Myanmar Bago feels like an amusement park of fascinating Myanmar Buddhist religious sites. It's very easy to do a day strip to Bago from Yangon Myanmar, but shuttling from one site to the other makes it difficult to do any of them any justice. It's best to take your time and spend the night in Bago Myanmar. Although there's a lack of quality accommodation there, an early start to visit the Myanmar sites is probably the best idea. Bago is only about 8 km from Yangon, yet is just far enough off the beaten track to avoid many tourists. Bago Myanmar is like a clogged artery because the high way that passes through; buses slow to disgorge their passengers, and motorcycle and trishaw touts competing for your attention at Bago in Myanmar.

Shwethalyaung Buddha

This Myanmar reclining Buddha is so big that from looking up from the bottom steps it's impossible to determine exactly what's ahead of you. The golden slap you see is only the torso. Measuring 55 m long and 16 m high and Myanmar Shwethalyaung Pagoda is 9 m longer than the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok, but still 19 m short of the Myanmar Buddha in Dawei. You'll find the Shwethalyaung to the west of the Yangon Bago road, only a little more than 1 km to the Yangon side of Myanmar train station. A sign on the platform in front of the image gives the measurements of each body part the little finger alone extends 3.05m. The Shwethalyaung is reputed to be one of the most lifelike of all Myanmar reclining Buddhas. Myanmar Burmese people say the images represents Myanmar Buddha in a relaxing mode instead of parinibbana (death) since the eyes are wide open and the feet lie slightly splayed rather than parallel. Myanmar Bago Shwethalyaung Buddha is originally built of brick and stucco in 994 by the Mon King Migadepa II, Myanmar Bago pagoda Shwethalyaung was allowed to deteriorate and was then restored several times before the bestruction of Myanmar Bago in 1757. Bago town was so completely ravaged that huge Myanmar Buddha was totally lost and overgrown by jungle. Myanmar Bago Shwethalyaung Buddha was not found until the British era of the 1880s when an Indian contractor, digging in a large earth mound for fill to be used in the construction of Myanmar railway line rediscovered the image. Restoration began in 1881 and the present iron and steel tazaung, a product of a Calcutta engineering company, was completed in 1903. The 1903s saw another flurry of renovation activity, as a mosaic was added to the great pillow on which the Buddha's head rests, and Italian marble was laid along the platform at Bago Myanmar.

Shwemawdaw Paya

Shwemawdaw Paya in Myanmar stands northeast of Myanmar train station. You can't miss this Myanmar stupa, as its height of 114 m dominates Bago town. The Shwemawdaw Myanmar paya is said to be over 1000 years old and was originally build by the Mon King to the height os 23m to enshrine two hairs of Buddha. In 825 Myanmar Shwemawdaw Paya was raised to 25m and then to 27m in 840. In 982 a sacred tooth was added to the collection in 1385 another tooth was added and this Myanmar stupa was rebuilt to a towering 84m. In 1492, the year Columbus sailed the Atlantic, a wind blew over the hti (umbrella like pinnacle) Hti Roe in Burmese and new one was raised. Myanmar King Bodawpaya, in the reconstruction of Myanmar Bago after the ravages of Myanmar king Alaungpaya, rebuilt the stupa to 91m in 1796, but from that point it has had a rather chequered career. A new Hti Roe was added in 1882, but a major earthquake in 1912 brought it down. Shwemawdaw Myanmar stupa was repaired, but in 1917 major quake again brought it down and caused serious damage in Myanmar. Again it was repaired, but in 1930 the biggest earthquake of them all completely leveled Shwemawdaw stupa and for the next years only the huge earth mound of the base remained.

Reconstruction of the Myanmar Shwemawdaw Paya commenced in 1952 and was completed in 1954, when Shwemawdaw paya reaches its present height. The glittering golden top of the stupa reaches 14m higher than Shwedagon in Yangon. At the northeastern corner of the stupa, a huge section of the Hti tipped by the 1917 earthquake has been mounted into the structure of the stupa. It is a sobering reminder of the power of such Myanmar geological disturbances.

Like the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Shwemawdaw Myanmar stupa is reached by a covered walkway lined with stalls some with interesting collections of antique bits and pieces. Along the sides of the walkway a collection of rather faded and dusty paintings illustrates the terrible effects of the 1930 earthquake and shows the subsequent rebuilding of this mighty stupa in Myanmar Bago.

Hintha Gon Paya

Located behind the Myanmar Bago Shwemawdaw pagoda, this shrine has good views over Myanmar Bago town from the roofed platform on the hilltop. According to Myanmar legend, this Myanmar Bago pagoda was the one point rising from the sea when the mythological bird landed here. A stature of the bird, looking rather like the figures on opium weights, tops the hill. This Myanmar stupa was built by U Khanti, the Burmese hermit monk who was also the architect of Myanmar Mandalay Hill. You can walk to it by taking the steps down the other side of the Shwemawdaw Paya from the main entrance.

Kyaik Pun Paya

There's something uncannily impressive about these four seated Myanmar Buddhas with regal gazes that seem to see all, about 1.5 km out of bago just off the Yangon road. Built in 1476 by Myanmar King Dhammazedi, it consists of four 30 m high sitting Myanmar Buddhas placed back to back around a huge, square pillar. According to Myanmar legend, four Mon sisters were connected with the construction of the Myanmar buddhas; it was said that if any of them should marry, one of the Myanmar buddhas would collapse. One of the four buddhas disintegrated in the 1930 earthquake, leaving only a brick outline. It has since been fully restored in Myanmar.

Shwegugale Paya

A little beyond Myanmar Mahazedi, this Myanmar Shwegugale zedi has dark go around the circumference of the cylindrical superstructure. The monument dates to 1494 and the reign of Myanmar king Byinnya Yan. Inside are 64 seated Myanmar Buddha figures. From here you can take a short cut back to the corner in the road, just before the shwethalyaung Myanmar Bago pagoda.

Shwesandaw Paya is situated in the centre of Myanmar taungoo town, west of the main road, this is Taungoo's grandest pilgrimage spot in Taungoo Myanmar. The central Myanmar stupa, a standard issue bell shape, is gilded an dates to 1597; local Myanmar legend says an earlier Myanmar stupa on the site was built centuries before and contains sacred-hair relics. A pavilion on the western side of the stupa contains a 3.6m bronze, Mandalay-style sitting Buddha, given to the paya in 1912 by a retired civil servant who donated his body weight in bronze and silver for the casting of the image. He died three years after the casting age 72; his ashes are interred behind the image. Another pavilion in the northwestern corner of the compound houses a garish reclining Myanmar Buddha surrounded by devas and monastic disciples. Glass cabinets along the wall display small, mostly modern, religious object and Buddhas donated by the faithful. Among the other tazaung is one that displays sculptures of the seven Myanmar Taungoo kings, a small Kuan Yin pavilion to placate the Chinese, a Myanmar nat shrine with images of Sarawati and her attendants, and a Shin Upagot shrine.


About 8km east of the Aung San statue in the neighbouring Myanmar village of Hmawza, this Myanmar ancient site known to Pali-Sanskrit scholars as Sri Ksetra is an enormous Pyu city that ruled in the area from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. Local legend links its origin to the mythical Myanmar King Dattabaung, who supposedly worked with ogres and other Myanmar supernatural creatures to build the "magical city" in 443BC. The earliest Pali inscriptions found here date to the 5th or 6th centuries. Sight seeing thayekhittaya means taking a three or four hour ox-cart loop to spaced-out Myanmar temples. It can't rival Bagan in terms of majesty, but lack of tourists and real peeks into local Myanmar farming communities are serious bonuses



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