Thanlar Waddy, very beautiful name. A popular lady in Jataka, mother of Sayar Ziwaka at the time of Buddha. There is a big town in Sagaing division after the name of Thanlar Waddy that is known as Monywa now. It is on the eastern bank of Chindwin river and on the main road between Mandalay to India. That’s why, Monywa is commercial hub of Sagaing division.
Although, Sagaing is the capital, Monywa is busier and more densely populated than Sagaing. As a commercial centre, India made products are easily available there. Burmese agricultural products trade to India which is a stop over.
Around Monywa, the land is very fertile and good irrigation so there are plenty of farming land. People grow rice, beams, tobacco & Thanakha. A good reputation of Monywa is in the air that’s why many local and foreigners pay a visit to that area.
There are many places of interest not only for business but also for historical & religious sites. The third tallest standing Buddha image in the world is near Monywa which is 116 metres tall. This is like Buddhas Universal. Thousand of sitting Buddha images are under the Bohdi trees. A giant standing Buddha and a huge reclining Buddha are sun bathing.
They are very impressive but spent millions of money. When ever you are there, you should go up to the standing Buddha which has also lift. I’m not so sure, you can take the lift or not due to power seriously cut off across Burma now.
There is a Buddha museum inside the Buddha image that shows eight levels of hell, Jataka and Buddha statues. You also can peep out in some places you will see Buddha garden with bird-eyed view. You won’t forget the experience in life. It is not easy to take photo to the standing Buddha as it is too big very difficult to escape power cables and some buildings. Anyway it is worth to pay a visit.
Another interesting place is famous Thanbuday temple. It is very beautiful and impressive. There are two standing white Elephant statues welcome every visitors.
When you walk in, a building with tiger statues was donated by famous ” Tiger balm ” owner. Once, they lived in Burma. Burmese usually spend money easily for Buddhism so the whole temple, in and out was built with gold. This temple is more beautiful in the morning and evenings.
Souvenir shops, gold leaf shops and flower shops are at the entrance. When you go in they offer their products which is like music and light sweet smell from their Thanakha, traditional cosmetic. 04:20 PM in the town centre, central market is very colourful and busy and clock tower is interesting that doesn’t show correct time.
The famous Ledi monastery is not far away. The British government awarded D.lit to Ledi Sayadaw. He was very popular meditation master. U Goanka also follows his method. Ledi sayadaw gave suggestion to buddhist in Burma not to eat beef which is the same flesh as your parents.
There is a bridge cross over Chindwin river. Western bank of river is Yinmarbin township, known for copper mine called Letpadaung Taung. This area has more mountains, georges and forest. Once, Ivanhoe Mines Company from Canada operated it but nowadays, Wanbao Mining Ltd has launched operation there. A lot of farming lands were nationalised. Farmers have been very angry with the government and Chinese company. They went on strike for several times. The Coup in 2021 put the oil on the flame. Farmers hit to the roof, took any available weapons and revolt against the junta. Normally we used to travel around this area which is very peaceful, helpful and beautiful area. Nowadays, it is unsafe battlefield. It’s pity, nobody dares to go there.
A beautiful religious site called Pho Win Taung is vanished. It is very interesting place, which has many man made caves attached with the Buddha statues. As peaceful place in the forest it was very good for meditation but at the time of socialism in 1970s, some gamblers’ forest casino, Sayar Mya Than Tint express about it in his book, ” Mayar Bone “.
There are some semi-tamed monkeys run to the visitors, asking for food. Sometimes, they rob camera and sunglasses. Take care, when you are there. I had very funny experience that my friend bought a can of Coke. He drank a half and put the can on the seat beside him. A few minutes later a female monkey took the can. I reminded my friend, ” hey friend…monkey is going take your Coke “. He sad, I know let her drink. He was laughing and taking picture to monkey that drank Coke. My friend said, she is happy I’m happy too. I asked him why? I got a good picture of a monkey drinking Coke in Burma. I’ll sell it to Coca-Cola company for advertisement.
In our history, many scholars and brave heroes appeared in that area. Bandoola, a great general was born Ngapayin village who died in action during first British & Myanmar war. Another famous scholar Thein Pe Myint’s birth place was also Butalin. Monywa sayadaw was still popular and Nyaung Kan where you can learn about bronze age history of Burma. If you can spare your time do go to Twin Taung, try Twinpoe with tea-leaf salad.
Written by Pro Tourist.Better than Others ? Harder than Ever !
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