Golden Rock (Kyaikhtiyo)
Mon State is an administrative division of Myanmar. It is sandwiched between Kayin State on the east. the Andaman Sea on the west. Bago Division on the north and Tanintharyi Division on the south. It has a short border with Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province at its south-eastern tip. The land area is 12.155 km². Mon State includes many small islands along its 566 km of coastline. Its capital is Mawlamyine. formerly Moulmein.
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.
Kyaik Thanlan Pagoda
Kyaik Thanlan Pagoda is the most famous pagoda in Mawlamyine. lying at the top of Mount Than Lin or Naga Wuntha in Hlaing area of the city. It was known to be a resting place for the king of golden hamsas while Buddha lived the life of the king of hamsas. It is the peak of the town of Yamawady that is Mawlamyine.
The pagoda was built by the king of Yamawady Mutpi Yaza in Sakarit 236 enshrining the sacred relic of the tooth obtained from king Sula Thirima Thawka of Thaton and the hair relic from Hermit Kappa of Multa-i Mountain in gold. silver and ruby caskets and the Tripitakas inscribed in bronze. It is 150 feet high with an umbrella 8-L feet in girth and 25-|- feet high. and a base of 450 feet.
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.
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.
Lyaikkami Yele Pagoda
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.
Thanbyuzayat – or “tin shelter” is 30 kms south of Mawlamyine. It was the western terminus of the infamous Burma-Siam Railway. dubbed the ”death railway” by the thousands of Allied prisoners of war (and Asians who were forced by the Japanese military to build it.
A kilometer west of the clock tower in the direction of Kyaikkami lies the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery. which contains 3.771 graves of Allied prisoners of war who died building the railway.
Most of those buried were British. but there are also markers for American. Dutch. and Australian soldiers.
Other places that record the historic events at this town are Japanese-built temples and a small museum with a locomotive. which marks the beginning of the “death railway.” Two miles outside the town is the ancient city of Waguru (13th century). The walls are still plainly visible and the view from the hilltop is wonderful.
Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island) isn’t a hideaway for nasty monsters. Rather, it’s a beautiful island directly west of Mawlamyine. Roughly the size of Singapore, Bilu Kyun comprises 78 villages that are home to more than 200,000 people. It’s a green, fecund place, home to palm-studded rice fields and fruit plantations, and it has the vibe of a tropical island, only without the beaches. A brand-new bridge now links Bilu Kyun to the mainland, allowing travellers to drive there themselves.
Katoe Katnet Village, which was a township, timber enterprises, flourished and well-developed in this region under the rule of British administration.Famous timber and steamship entrepreneur U Nar Oak monastery where the old beautiful wood carvings decorations can be see inside and outside of the shrine hall.
A local pilgrimage site, Nwa-la-bo is still relatively unknown outside Mon State and, currently, very few foreigners make it out here. This is surprising because the pagoda is a smaller but, geologically at least, far more astonishing version of Kyaiktiyo. Unlike at that shrine, where just one huge boulder perches on the cliff ledge, Nwa-la-bo consists of three sausage-shaped gold boulders piled precariously atop one another and surmounted by a stupa. Nwa-la-bo can’t be reached during the rainy season
Golden Rock Pagoda
Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is located in the small town called Kyaikhto, in the Mon State. This destination is 160km away from Yangon. The pagoda is 1100km above sea-level. It is a 11 kilometer uphill climb for the hikers from Kinpun base camp. There is also a steep winding road for 4-wheel drive cars from the base to the nearest point of the pagodas. The pagoda is also known as “the golden rock”. The meaning of Kyaik Hti Yo : According to Mon tradition, the name is a corruption of Kyaiki-thi-yo being derived as follows. In Mon language the word “Kyaik” means ” pagoda” and ” yo” ” to carry on the hermits head”, in Pali the word” ithi” means a hermit and therefore the name means ” the pagoda carried on the hermit’s head.