Powintaung Cave Pagodas

Useful Information

Location: 22km from Monywa, on the other side of Chindwin river upstream.
Open: no restrictions [2006]
Fee: free [2006]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: electric.
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The three hills at the river Chindwin, Shwe-ba-taung, Phan-ga-taung and Nwa-tho-taung, are impressive karst towers. The most prominent is Shwe-ba-taung, with the caves of Powin-taung. The temple was started by Pyu King Bandawa. He was invited by King Anawrahta (1044-77) to the consecration of the Shwezigon Pagoda at Bagan. When he was on his way home, he spotted this place and decided to build Buddha statues and stupas here. Since then many temples have been carved out of the solid limestone.

In contrary to the common cave temples, which were built into natural caves, this one is carved into the rock. The temples are artificial and the sculpures were formed out of the living rock on location. The chambers are between 5 and 20m long and between 3 and 5m high.