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Pindaya

Pindaya is located 45km away from Kalaw. There's a lot of beautiful landscape to be taken in when travelling from Kalaw to Pindaya. The latter is famous for its limestone caves as well as temples, Danu Village and pagodas. The Pindaya cave has a length is 490 feet long and is said to have existed for the past 200 million years and is 5,000 metres above sea level. All the sculpture work, carvings and paintings inside these caves are of Lord Buddha and were created by hand by his worshippers. The maze inside the cave is at its highest point and is mostly used by visitors to pose next to for photographs. A pagoda festival is celebrated at the base of Pindaya Hill which is lined with huge banyan trees. One of the villages of Danu is known as Hgnatpyawtaw and is a popular tourist destination. At the base of Pindaya Hill is Singaung Monastery, a century old teakwood building which also has a lacquered-bamboo Buddha image. Ponetaloke Lake is another popular attraction at Pindaya.

History
There is a 15-m (49 ft) pagoda named Shwe U Min (Golden Cave) Pagoda at the entrance to the southernmost cave. Local legend attributes this pagoda as being built by King Asoka and repaired by King Alaungsithu in the 12th century, but this is not corroborated by any other historical source. In its present form and style, it is immediately apparent that the pagoda is of recent origin.
There is a large bronze bell at the southern entrance. The barely readable inscription on the bell states it as being cast in 1842 with a weight of 400 viss (654 kg).
The modern day entrance dates from 1925 when the entrance to the cave was enlarged by explosives, destroying some valuable images and epigraphs in the process. A steel structure was erected to accommodate the many pilgrims. Dedication inscriptions from this renovation indicate a wide range of donors, not only from the Theravada community, but also from the Hindu, Chinese and even Muslimcommunities. During this renovation, some unique images were removed to a nearby monastery. Unfortunately, these images were destroyed during World War II in a bombing raid. An elevator was added in more recent times.
There are many legends surrounding the Pindaya cave. One is that a blocked-off path at the end of the cave leads to the ancient city of Bagan. There is also the legend of the seven princesses bathing in a lake and how they were captured by a giant spider and trapped in the cave to be rescued by Prince Kummabhaya of Yawnghwe. Sculptures of the spider and the prince aiming with his bow and arrow have been added in recent times at the entrance of the covered stairway to the caves.

 

 
 


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