Mawlamyine, a charming town, is the capital of Mon State and situated at the mouth of the Thanlwin River. Located 28 miles from the sea, it is the second busiest seaport & third largest city in Myanmar.
Rail and motor road from Yangon via Bago ends at Moketama (Martaban Gulf) 169 miles and then crossing Thanlwin River over the longest bridge in Myanmar over 2 miles. The railroad continues south up to Ye terminal (90 miles), but the motor road continues up to Myeik (Mergui). Air flight from Yangon, sea-going vessels, coastal boats and inland-river crafts ply up & down.
Visitors to Mawlamyine are simply enchanted at the scenic beauty and it's temperate climate. The atmosphere of POST-colonial days is still palpable here. It's also an attractive and tropical town with a stupa-capped hills on one side and the sea on the others.
Kyaik-thanlan pagoda was builted 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 level, 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 (Stupa) surrounding the pagoda. U Zina 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 the time of king Asoka, and that U Zina was just a villager who found a pot of gold buried in a bamboo grove while collecting bamboo shoots on the hill where the pagoda now stands.
The villager and his wife became rich and built this pagoda on the hillock, 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. Sayadaw Waziya-yama, a prominent Buddhist monk, and Daw Shwe Bwin of Mawlamyine, led the building of this Pagoda.
The great image made in Mandalay was brought to Naga-with Hill on the Mawlamyine Ridge, where a large building, a Gandakudi building, was constructed to house Buddha image. The nearby monastery named after its donor, the Seindon Mibaya kyaung has some excellent wood-carvings, which are over a hundred years old.
This beautiful little island in the middle of Thanlwin River, located in Mawlamyine northwestern end is a good picnic spot. The island was named as Head Wash Island because the water taken from a spring on the island used in royal hair washing ceremony during the Inwa (Ava) period.
You can take a stroll around and visit the Sandawshin pagoda, a whitewash and silver pagoda enshrining hair relics of the Buddha, and a Buddhist meditation centre by the pagoda.
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