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Pindaya

One of the main tourist attractions in Shan state, Pindaya is famous for its huge caverns containing thousands of Buddha images in various sizes and shapes that have been consecrated for worship over the years. Outside of the caverns, the picturesque town is covered with a numerous of Ficus trees, planted over 200 years ago. There is also an itinerant market held every 5th day.

The Pindaya Caves located next to the town of Pindaya, are a Buddhist pilgrimage site and a tourist attraction. There are three caves on the ridge which runs north-south, but only the southern cave can be entered and explored. It is not known whether the other two penetrate for any extended distance into the hillside. The southernmost Pindaya cave can be entered and extends for about 490 feet along a well-worn path. It is supposed to be 200.00 million years old and since ancient times they have been places of worship and veneration which contains 8.094 Buddha images made from various materials like teak wood, marble, alabaster, brick, cement and lacquer, and all enshrined in the nooks and corners of the winding caverns.. Some of the older statues and images in the cave have inscriptions dating to the late 18th century, or early Konbaung period, and the earliest one dates from 1773. At the entrance to the main cave, there is a pagoda 50 feet in height. This pagoda is called Shwe U-min Hpaya or the Golden Cave pagoda.

Visitors should plan to stay for one or two nights in Pindaya to explore the natural beauties all around; the tranquil lake, the limestone caves, the ancient pagodas and images and the lovely old trees.

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.