Thatone - Mon State

In the early centuries of the Christian era the Mons were settled in the region between the Sittaung and Salween(Thanlwin) rivers which was known as the Mon kingdom of Ramanyadesa. Thaton. the seat of this kingdom was also known as Suvannabhumi or the Golden Land. which also applies to the whole region of continental south-east Asia around the Bay of Bengal. Doubtless Thaton was flourishing port in ancient and there was constant intercourse between Southern India and the region around Thaton and Pegu(Bago). The old city of Thaton appears to have built on a quadrangular plan like the more modern cities of Amarapura and Mandalay. There are two ramparts in a rectangular shape and the moat lies between the two walls. which are faced with laterite stones. As the present town is developed within the old city the remains of the inner city are no more visible. The chief pagodas are situated between the palace site and the south wall.

Nearby Attractions

Shwezayan Pagoda

Shwezayan Pagoda is often called Thaton Shwezayan to differentiate it from another Shwezayan between Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin. The pagoda as it stands today has a height of 360 feet (110m) from plinth to the finial and by its configuration seems to be quite modern. but a number of stone inscriptions. of which 5 display Old Mon writing. attest to its antiquity. The festival for this Pagoda is held on the 8th waxing day of the month of Dabaung which roughly corresponds to March.
The Shwezayan pagoda is said to have been built in the 5th century B.C. It has been built over and has now assumed a modern shape with a circular base and a bell-shaped superstructure.
Within the precincts of the Shwezayan pagoda were found seven inscribed stones. five in early Mon of 11th century. one medieval and the seventh illegible. Among the stone sculptures collected in the same building is a figure of standing Buddha depicted in relief on a sandstone slab.

Kyaikhtee Saung Pagoda (An ancient Laterite Stone Pagoda)

It is the one of earlist hair relic pagoda in Mon State. Kyaikhtee Saung Pagoda is located on the Laterite Stone hillock. The hillock itself is forme by laying the laterite stones ontop of one another forming a big square gradually grind up keeping the form but reducing the size of squar intact untill it reaches the top platform. At 1971 the monk U Pyinnyadipa (Now. he is the abbot of the monastery and famous as Kyaikhtee Saung Sayadaw) has arrived back his native village Zoke Thoke. He himself found the old pagoda under the huge bushes. He organized his disciples and villagers to clear the bushes. Then he rebuilt and renovated the old pagoda and old laterite hillock. Now. the Kyaikhtee Saung Golden Pagoda has appeared surrounded by the new buildings for the religious purposes.

Mawlamyine (Moulmein) - Mon State

Mawlamyine (or Moulmein )is the capital of the Mon State in the Union of Myanmar. It is also the third largest city in the country. after Yangon and Mandalay. It has a population of about 240.000. Mawlamyine is an ancient Mon town. The name according to the legend comes from Mot-Mua-Lum. meaning "one eye destroyed" . In this legend an ancient king had three eyes. the third eye in the centre of the fore-head having the power of seeing what was going on in surrounding kingdoms. The King of a neighbouring country gave his daughter in marriage to the three-eyed king. and this queen was eventually able to destroy the all-seeing third eye. Mawlamyine is now being transformed into a modern city with many new public and private buildings coming up. Only the old pagodas on the Mawlamyine Ridge remind us of her ancient origins.

Mawlamyine can be reached by road. rail or plane. As Myanmar Airways flies to Mawlamyine only on Thursdays and Sundays. it is more convenient to go by car. bus or railway. There are at present three trains from Yangon to Mottama (or Martaban ) ehe terminus across the Than Lwin ( Salween ) River from Mawlamyine. She trains leave Yangon at 3a.m. . 4a.m. and 8a.m daily. and take about seven hours to reach Mottama.

It is a pleasant half an hour's river crossing by passenger or car ferry from Mottama to Mawlamyine. The ferry goes in a southeast direction across the wide expanse of the Than Lwin River near its mouth. As you cross. you can see Bilu Gyun (Ogre Island) in the west.
Click here to see the Map of Mawlamyine

Interesting Places

Kyaik-Than-lan Pagoda

Three famous pagodas adorn the Mawlamyine Ridge. The Kyaik-thanlan pagoda was erected 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. 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 surrounding the pagoda. A lift has now been installed for easy access. Kyaik in Mon language means a Cedi or Stupa The pagoda was repaired by King Anawrahta. founder of the Bagan Dynasty. and later enlarged by Mon kings. especially King Wagaru of Mottama in 1538 A.D. On the Platform can be seen a big bell with a medieval Mon inscription and also another bell with a quaint inscription in English. dated 30th March 1885: " This bell made by Koonalenga. the priest. and weight 500 viss. No one body design to destroy this bell." There is also a memorial to the famous Thingaza Sayadaw who passed away in Mawlamyine in 1900.

Kyaik-than-lan was the pagoda that the famous English poet Rudyard kipling wrote about in his poem "Mandalay" which opens with the line: By the old Moulmein Pagoda. lookin lazy at the sea".

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 thc time of king Asoka. and that U Zina was just a villager who while collecting shoots on the hill where the pagoda now stands. found a pot of gold buried in a bamboo grove. The villager and his wife became rich and built this pagoda on the hill which gave up its treasure to them. The old Mon name for this pagoda is Kyaikpatan. named after thc white hill on which it stands. Legend says it was first built in the 3rd century B.C.

There is a record that u lugalay and his wife Daw Mi rebuilt the pagoda in 1832. They were They were buried near a water tank to the north of this pagoda. Soon after the annexation 1886 the pagoda was rebuilt by U Moe and his wife Daw Nyein to the present height of 112 feet. Their stone inscription can still be seen on the platform.

There is a reclining Buddha Image. Visitors should also see the four life-like figures. a decrepit old man leaning on a staff. a man suffering from a loathsome disease. a putrid corpse and finally a monk in yellow robes free from all worldly cares. These four figures represent the four signs that made Lord Buddha leave the palace for the life of a religious recluse.

Mahamuni Pagoda

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. The building of this Pagoda was led by Sayadaw Waziya-yama. a prominent Buddhist monk. and Daw Shwe Bwin of Mawlamyine. The great image made in Mandalay was brought to Naga-with a Hill on the Mawlamyine Ridge.where a large building. a Gandakudi Taik. was erected to house it. The nearby monastery named after its donor. the Seindon Mibaya kyaung has some excellent wood-carvings which are over a hundred years old. Click to see the map of this destination

Kyaikkami Yele Pagoda - Mon State

Located 9 kms northeast of Thanbyuzayat. Kyaikkami was a small coastal resort and missionary center known as Amherst during the British era. The main focus of Kyaikkami is Yele Paya. a metal-roofed Buddhist shrine complex perched over the sea and reached via a long two-level causeway; the tower level is submerged during high tide. Along with 11 Buddha hair relics. the shrine chamber beneath Yele Paya reportedly contains a Buddha image that supposedly floated here on a raft from Sri Lanka in ancient times.

Some legend say that Buddha in Maha Sakarit 111 around 581 BC came on sojourn to Thuwunna Bhumi and got to Kyin Maing (Kyaikkhami). the land of Yawnaka. Buddha rested on the rock that would site the pagoda and gave the 20 sons of the king of Kyin Maing and mentor Kappina the hermit hair relics before he went to Thuwunna Bhumi. In Maha Sakarit 117 that was 575 BC. Hermit Kappina and ten of the princes built a pagoda enshrining the relics they got at the sacred rock cave. It has since been known as Eka Dasa. In Sakarit 237 that was 307 BC. after Parinibbana. Shin Mahainda. Arahanta Upatittha and King Devanampiyatittha sent afloat four sandalwood Buddha statues enshrining the Buddha's relics entrusted to them. making an oath to have them get to a place where there were repositories of Buddha relics. One of them came to Eka Dasa Pagoda in Kyaikkhami. Eka Dasa Pagoda is now one with five wonders midstream.

The Buddha Images inside face the sea towards the south.  A notable fact is that although the shrine is located at some distance from the shore. its basement is not engulfed even during the highest tide. Women are only allowed to worship from a pavilion removed from the shrine while men may do so from the hall facing the main image.

Other attractions here are the colonial administrative buildings that are nearly 100 years old.

Mudon - Mon State

In Mudon. the world's Largest reclining Buddha Image has been constructing at Win Sein Taw Ya Forest. situated 29 km south of Mawlamyine. The Buddha Image is named as Zinathuka Yan Aung Chantha. which has a length of 400 feet (= 180 m). and inside the image is 182 rooms in 8 storeys. It has the height of 110 feet (nearly 34 m). Near to the image. 200 Standing monks collecting alms Images can be seen clearly.

Kyaikmaraw Pagoda - Mon State

Located 24km south east of Mawlamyine. The famous of the town is Kyaikmaraw Pagoda. The main Buddha image sits in the position of the legs hanging down as if sitting on a chair. The name Kyaikmaraw stands for Distinctive Image. where the sitting position of the Buddha Image differs from others. Kyaikmaraw Pagoda was the temple built by Queen Shin Saw Pu in 1455 in the late Mon regional style. Queen Shin Saw Pu was a well-known Queen who devoted and donated gold to the Shwedagon Pagoda. The Pagoda festival is usually held annually during the transition of Myanmar New Year in April.

It is accessible via a sealed road. Many Muslim and Hindu communities live along the picturesque road. The temple is famous for the Buddha which is sitting in the "western manner." The temple is also well known for its hundreds of beautiful glazed tiles.

There are limestone caves with stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity of Kyaikmaraw town and mineral springs in nearby Yebu (Hot Water) village.

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