October 20, 2017

Powintaung Cave Pagodas to be developed

Buddhist devotees wait to ride an elephant on their way to Powintaung Cave  Pagodas. Photo: Myo Win Tun
Buddhist devotees wait to ride an elephant on their way to Powintaung Cave Pagodas. Photo: Myo Win Tun

The Powintaung Cave Pagodas, a site of religious significance to Buddhists, will be further developed using funds raised from pilgrimages to the sacred Shrine of Venerable Monk Alungdaw Shinmahar Kathpa at the near-by Alaungtaw Kathapa National Park, according to the secretary of the shrine’s board of trustees U Maung Maung Htay.
The cave pagodas are located in Yinmapin Township, and Alaungtaw Kathapa National Park is in neighbouring Monywa Township, which are both in Sagaing Region.
“We will rebuild the road from Powintaung to Alaungtaw Kathapa, which was built 50 years ago before the death of the Venerable Monk of Powintaung. There will be a religious festival in February at Alaungtaw Kathapa Shrine. We plan to develop the two religious sites according to the wishes of the Venerable Monk Powintaung,” said the secretary.
Over six hundred pilgrims from Yangon visited the religious sites last year. More pilgrimages are expected this year to contribute to the development of the religious sites, he added.
The ancient Powintaung Cave Pagodas formed entirely out of natural rocks. All the pathways, vestibule chambers and Buddha images are carved out of solid rock. According to early inscriptions, the caves are said to be more than 700 years old.
The Alaungtaw Kathapa National Park, with an area of 620.32 square miles, is well known not only in Myanmar but also throughout ASEAN. The park is home to large populations of wild elephants and other rare wildlife species.
—Myo Win Tun

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