- Category: Destination
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Pyay is an important commercial center for trade between the Ayeyarwady Delta, Central and Upper Myanmar and the Rakhine (Arakan) State. Pyay (Prome) is only 161 km north of Yangon travelling along a well-maintained highway by car. You can see green paddy fileds along the side of the highway. Several trains run daily from Yangon on the first railway line built in Myanmar in 1877. In the last few years the railway branch lines have been extended north towards Bagan. It is a city halfway between Yangon and Bagan. Visitors can stop over in Pyay and travel on to Bagan and Mandalay. Pyay is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River on a lovely location.
Pyay was anglicized as Prome after the Second Anglo-Myanmar war and in ancient times was known as Thaye-khittra (Srikshetra). Srikshetra, the ancient Pyu capital about five miles to the east, is interesting place to visit because of their historical importance and archaeological sites.
Interesting Places in Pyay
The Shwesandaw Pagoda is well known in Pyay. The Pagoda is situated on the eastern bank of Irrawaddy river and Myanmar’s most venerated structure stands here.
Looking east from the stupa you’ll see an enormous seated Bhudda figure rising up from the treeline. From the Shwesandaw terrace you look across to the image eye-to-eye. Sehtatgyi meaning ‘Big Ten-storey’ for its height.
Bawbawgyi Paya and Bebe Paya
South of the museum, outside the city walls, are cylindrical Bawbawgyi Paya and cube-shaped Bebe Paya. Standing over 45 meters high, the brick and plaster of Bawbawgyi Paya is the oldest stupa in the area. Other cube-shaped pagodas in the area include one thought to have been used by a hermit, featuring eight Buddha reliefs along the lower half of the interior wall and a vaulted ceiling of brick.
About a kilometer and a half from the highway turnoff by the old palace side, stands a small museum and a map of the area. Inside the museum is a colletion of artifacts collected from Srikshetra excavations.
This small town is about 14km south of Pyay. There are two famous pagodas in this town. The Shwemyethma Paya and the Shwenattaung Paya.
Shwemyethma Paya meaning 'Paya with the Golden Spectacles' a refrence to a large white face sitting Buddha image inside the main shrine. The Buddha image wears a golden rimmed spectacles. Spectacles were added during the Konbaung era. There is a saying that this image can cure illnesses especially for eyes.
Shwenattaung Paya means 'Golden Spirit Mountain'. This pagoda dates back to the Sriksetra era. Legend takes it back all the way to 283 BC, from which it was reconstructed by a long range of Burman kings with the aid of local nats(spirits) A large pagoda festival is held here each year on the full moon of Tabaung (February/March).
Akauktaung Mountain stands on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River to the north of Pyay in Bago Division. It takes 15 minutes by boat ride to reach the Akauktaung. Different sizes and styles of Buddha images are carved into the wall of the bank and the visitor can climb and visit the Akauktaung pagoda, which lies at the top of the bank.
From Yangon, on the way to Pyay, you will come across Paung Te. The sacred tooth relic of Buddha is enshrined in the Paung Te Swedaw Seddi.