Excursion to Pindaya Caves home to thousands of Buddha statues

10 October 2014 

Pindaya is a small farming town that lies between the mountains of central Myanmar, known for a cave that contains thousands of Buddha statues donated by people from any corner of Myanmar and from other countries. But the cave (Pindaya Caves) is not the only attraction in the region: the fertile soil offers beautiful countryside landscapes, where farmers are busy in their daily activities and where almost any kind of fruits and vegetables are sold in bustling markets. A tour to Pindaya is therefore strongly recommended to all those who visit the region of Inle lake, since the town is only a couple of hours away from it.

Ginger field Field of ginger
Myanmar countryside

Pindaya is located in central Myanmar, near Inle lake, in a region where agricolture is the primary resoruce, thanks to the particularly fertile soil. In these photos we see fields of ginger that turn yellow in the proximity of the harvest.
Field of cabbage
Cabbages loaded on a cart

The region is also characterized by large expanse of land cultivated with cabbages, and during the harvest time (these photos were taken at the beginning of October) it is not uncommon to see huge carts loaded with these vegetables, ready to be sent to local markets.
This vegetable is a kind of small pumpkin particularly popular in Myanmar and consumed in many different ways.
Myanmar general markets Deliverying cabbages

Photos of the bustling general markets of the various villages around Pindaya: here the products come directly from the countryside, they are selected, weighted, packaged, and then shipped all over Myanmar.
Choosing potatoes
Bags of potatoes

The potatoes are divided according to the diameter, packed in bags and then loaded onto trucks to be distributed among the various regions of Myanmar.
Ginger Choosing tomatoes

The same happens to the roots of ginger (pictured above left), to tomatoes (pictured above) and to the pumpkins (pictured left).
Loading onions
The products are packaged, weighed and loaded onto trucks. A single lot of onions or potatoes can weigh up to 80 kilos, carried by workers who hold them on their back.
Paste of paper mulberry Making mulberry paper
Mulberry paper Pindaya is known for the production of paper umbrellas made ​​exclusively with natural products. First, sheets of paper that will form the canopy of the umbrella, are produced by processing the bark of a tree (Broussonetia papyrifera, commonly known as "mulberry paper") to form a paste (top-left picture), which is then evenly spread in a frame using a bit of water (pictured above). After drying, the paper is ready to be used (pictured left).
Lathe actuated by feet
Bamboo umbrella

Through a lathe actuated by a pedal and a tool held by hand, the supports for the canopy of the umbrellas, are produced from bamboo trunks.
Umbrella locking mechanism
In a few moments, only with the aid of a knife, the locking and unlocking system of the umbrella is quickly produced.
Making paper umbrella
Paper umbrellas

After having assembled the rays, which are also made ​​of bamboo, the cover of mulberry paper is applied using rice-based glue. In the photo above, the finished umbrella. The color is also obtained with natural products, and some dyes such as the red, also ensure the impermeability of the umbrella under the rain.
Pindaya Caves sanctuary
Entrance to Pindaya Caves

However Pindaya is a place known above of all for hosting a sacred cave (Pindaya Caves) where thousands of Buddha statues are housed inside. In the past, it was possible to get to this sacred place only by climbing steep stairs along the side of the mountain, but later some elevators were built.
Pindaya Caves
The wonder begins immediately as soon as I enter the cave of thousands Buddha, where statues of all sizes cover the floor and walls of the cave.
Buddha statues
Buddha statue

Photos of Buddha statues in Pindaya Caves.
Caves of Pindaya Stupa

Inside Pindaya Caves there are also some stupas (middle photo). The Buddha statues are in 2014, almost 9000, steadily increasing in number, as these are constantly being donated by pilgrims from most corners of Myanmar and also from foreign countries. The cave extends into the mountains for about 150 meters, so there is still room to house more statues.
Meditation niche
A small niche of meditation that can only be reached by crawling through a narrow tunnel.
Caves of thousands Buddha

Photos of Pindaya Caves . Statues of Buddha in many sizes, housed inside the Pindaya Caves.
Buddha statues in Pindaya caves
The Buddha statues are not only made of bronze or other metals, but some are in marble or ceramic.
Pictures of Buddha statues.

The faithful on pilgrimage in Pindaya Caves offering homage to Buddha, attaching gold leaf to some statues. The gold leaf is applied with the aid of a piece of bamboo paper that works like the sticker on an adhesive.
Pilgrims praying
Pilgrims praying into Pindaya Caves.
Hotel in Pindaya Conqueror Pindaya
Conqueror Resort Hotel

Where to stay in Pindaya? The Conqueror Resort Hotel in Pindaya is a beautiful eco-friendly structure made ​​almost entirely of wood and bamboo leaf, where the most common amenities are certainly not missing.

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