The delta region outside Yangon is the town of Twante where the "Oh-Bo pottery" is located.The boat trip provides a view of life along the canal while Twante itself provides interest as a centre of pottery and hand-woven cotton cloth. The pottery town of Twante is famous for the 21-mile-long canal that runs between the Ayeyawady Delta and the Yangon River. Twante can be reached by land or river from Yangon. It is only 15 miles away from Yangon. The streets of Twante are littered with so many beautiful pots of different sizes & shapes.
In Myanmar, there are four big Pagodas bearing the name “Shwe Sandaw”. They are one at Taungoo, an ancient capital about 180 miles to the north of Yangon, one at Pyay another ancient town about 160 miles to the north of Yangon, one at Bagan another old capital in Central Myanmar and one at Twante, an old town in the Ayeyawaddy Delta. As the name suggests these pagodas are the religious movements in which the sacred hairs of Lord Buddha were enshined. The legends of these Pagodas were associated with Myanmar history. Bagan Shwe Sandaw Pagoda was built by King Anawrahta (A.D. 1044-77) after his conquest of Thaton in A.D. 1057. Its legend claims that some sacred hairs of Gotama Buddha which were obtained from the ruined pagodas in the Mon country were enshined in it. Pyay Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, according to its legend, was built during the lifetime of Lord Buddha who came to that place in the 8th year of his Buddhahood. Later in the 101st year of the Buddhist Era King Duttabaung repaired and enlarged the Pagoda. Taungoo Shwe Sandaw Pagoda was the merit of Thiha Thura Maha Dhamma Raja commonly known as Min Khaung the younger brother of the conqueror king Bayint Naung ( A.D. 1551-81). The King of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) presented to Bayint Naung eight sacred hairs of Lord Buddha and Bayint Naung kept 4 strands for worship at his own shine and gave away the rest, one each to his four younger brothers-Lord of Pyay, Lord of Martaban, Lord of Inwa and Lord of Taungoo. Min Khaung the Lord of Taungoo built a pagoda at Taungoo in A.D. 1570 and enshined his share of the sacred relics in it.
The Legend of Twante
Shwe Sandaw Pagoda also claims that the Pagoda was built during the lifetime of the Lord Buddha. Venerable monk Leidi U Pannavamsa Maha Thera compiled a chronicle of Twante Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, based upon old Myanmar manuscripts such as palm leaves, parabeiks ( folding papers) stone and bell inscriptions. U Lu Pe Win, director of the Archaeology Department and U Pan Maung of Thudhammawaddy Press edited and published it. In it is the legend which runs as follows:
In the year 118 of Maha Sakarit, in the 8 th year of his Buddhahood, Gotama Buddha made a journey to Martaban Zingyaik Hill range in the kingdom of Thudhamma-pura. He made a stop on that hill range and facing west gave a smile. When his cousin disciple Maha Thera Ananda who was with Lord Buddha asked Lord Buddha why he smiled, Lord Buddha explained that in two of his previous countless existences he had been an elephant and a deer which lived on a forested ridge called Mayuda where they died and their dead bodies were buried, and that two sacred hairs of his would be enshrined in a pagoda for worship during his lifetime and that more hairs and relics of his would be added to it after his demise.”Not long after this divine prophesy was made by lLrd Buddha, two merchant brothers Tikkha Panna and Sagara Panna with five hundred seamen went out to the sea for trade. On the way they met a galleon the crew of which informed them that Lord Buddha was sojourning on the Martaban Zingyaik Hill range. The brothers went there to worship Lord Buddha and offered him some cakes. Lord Buddha gave them his divine prophesy and on Tuesday the 14th waxing moon of Thadingyut (October) in the year 111 of Maha Sukart he gave them two strands of hair from his head. The two brothers carried the sacred hair relics in a ruby-studded gold casket and set sail. When they landed at the port of Thiho Nge Khabin, the King of Pokkrawaddy named Thamein Htaw Banna Yan and his chief Queen Meinda Devi, hearing the arrival of the Buddha's sacred hairs held a grand celebration to receive the Sacred relics. Then they found the Mayuda Ridge on which a pagoda was built. The two sacred hairs were enshined in it with many jewels and jewelleries dedicated to religion. It took nine years to complete the building from the laying of the foundation in the year 114 to the topping of it with a crown called “hti” in the year 123, on the full moon day of Tazaungmon (November).
One hundred and fifteen years later four more sacred hairs of Lord Buddha were added to the vault of the Pagoda. The story goes that seven Arahats (Saints) brought to the Mayuda Ridge four sacred hairs of Lord Buddha from the shrine at the court of King Thiri Dhamma of Thuwunna-bomi (Thaton). The Mon King Banna Kawde received the relics with delight and reverence. They were placed in a specially made gold receptacle guarded by three hundred warriors as guard of honor at each cardinal direction. Then on Friday the 3rd waning moon of Tubodwe (February) in the year 238 the relics were enshined in the Pagoda on the Mayuda Ridge.”The above is the legend of how Twante Shwe Sandaw was constructed. The chronicle goes on to record how the Pagoda was maintained and renovated throughout historic periods. But there are three long gaps in its record - Buddhist Era 101 to 936 which is a gap of 835 years, A.D 1284 to 1354 which is a gap of 74 years and A.D. 1661 to 1763 which is a gap of 102 years. Except for these three gaps its chronology is continuous providing us with many historical data. Since the Pagoda is located on an earth fault it has suffered serious damage and destruction caused by seven major earthquakes in the period of 796 years (A.D. 1054 to 1850), - in A.D. 1054, 1394, 1512, 1564, 1596, 1773 and 1783. It was repaired renovated and regilt by 24 Myanmar Kings and reconstructed four times. The present design which is on the model of Shwedagon Pagoda at Yangon was introduced by King Hsinbyushin of Konbaung Period. It was he who raised its height to 136 cubits and built 40 surrounding minor stupas. The chronicle records six events of hoisting the new hti ( umbrella or crown) on top of the Pagoda, and lists 24 royal donors, repairers, renovators or reconstructors including such famous Kings as Duttabaung, Anawrahta, Kyanzittha, Banna U, Rajadarit, Queen Shin Saw Pu, Dhamazedi, Tabin Shwehti, Bayint Naung, Anaukpetlun, Thalun, Hsinbyushin, Bodawpaya, Bagyidaw, Thayawaddy and Bagan. Recently the Pagoda was renovated and a new hti hoisted on its top. Thanks to a modern motor road and river crossing bridges constructed as part of infrastructure upgrading and regional development programmes, the Pagoda can be visited from Yangon by a regular bus route in less than an hour.
It is on the motor-way from Yangon to Twante. There is a group of pagodas and religious buildings. In this religious area, everybody is a vegetarian.