Monywa is a city in central Myanmar and situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, Mandalay Division. It lies 136 km north-west of Mandalay along the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line. Monywa serves as a major trade center for India and Burma through Kalay Myo road and Chindwin river.
During the Bagan period at the present location of Monywa, there was a big village, and according to a legend which says a Myanmar king fell in love with a seller of cakes from this village and made her his queen and therefore the village was named ‘Monywa’ meaning ” Village of the woman cake seller”. The classical name for Monywa is Thalawadi.
The major tourist attraction in Monywa is Thanboddhay Pagoda, a Buddhist temple said to contain over 500,000 images of Buddha, with a huge stupa resembling Indonesia's Borobudur, located about 20 km southeast of Monywa, It dates from 1303, although it was reconstructed in 1939.
Bodhi Tahtaung Pagoda in Monywa has one thousand Bodhi Trees and each tree has a large Buddha Image underneath. It was established by Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw in 1960s.
Monywa is conveniently located within striking distance of the massive 40-story-tall standing Buddha statue called Bodhi TataungLaykyunSetkyar. The standing Buddha statue is the second-tallest statue in the world at 129 meters. The sprawling site is filled with bodhi trees and pagodas. In front of the standing statue lays a 95-meter-long, reclining Buddha that can be entered via Buddha’s left rear posterior. The sheer size of the standing Buddha is an unforgettable experience and has become one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar.