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INLE

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Inle Lake

Inle lake-ok-1

Inle Lake

Inle-ok

Inle

At about 900 metres above sea level, Inle Lake is still surrounded by high hills that help to keep the waters calm and the lake area misty. The huge and beautiful lake does not only contain a marvelous microcosm of aquatic life, but is also surrounded by a harmonious blend of national races. 22 km long and 11 km wide, Inle Lake is home to 70,000 Bamar, Danaw, Danu, Intha, Kayah, Pa-O, Shan, and Taung-yo peoples, among others – roughly half of the areas population.

Of these groups, one of the largest is the non-indigenous Intha, who live in 17 stilted villages around the lake. They are said to have migrated from Dawei, in southern Myanmar, in the late 1300s. Most are involved in fishing for the local carp and other freshwater fish that are abundant in the lake with cone shaped nets. The Inthas are renowned for rowing their flat-bottomed boats from the stern with one leg, so that they can watch for shoals of fish, and avoid the large clumps of water hyacinth and low-lying islands that are scattered about Inle.

Inle Lake also supports a thriving farming community that produces a wide range of vegetables and flowers, and rice is cultivated at the northern end of the lake on extremely fertile floating islands. The local men also produce silver and brassware, pottery and lacquerware, while the lake’s womenfolk are highly skilled silk weavers. The area is the second largest producer of silk products in the country.

Many of the garments produced by the local women find themselves in use at the yearly Phaung Daw U and Waso festivals, which run concurrently in September and October. During the former, sacred statues from Phaung Daw U Paya are rowed around the lake to bless the local monasteries, and bring prosperity to the hard-working local communities of Inle Lake.

This vast picturesque lake is one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar. The lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg rowing of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers. High hills rim the lake on both sides. The lakeshore and lake islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by the Intha people.

 

Attractions:

 

Phaungdawoo Pagoda                                                                                   

The Phaungdawoo Pagoda is situated in Inle Lake, one of the most dazzling and magical places in Asia. It is held on a grand scale for 18 days, usually falls in October (sometimes in September). One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, in end Sept-early Oct., there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha images are rowed around the Lake in a colourful barge.

Among the dance shows and fun-fairs, the most interesting event of the festival, especially for foreigners, is their boat race – due to their unique leg rowing. It is the one and only place in the world that one can see such marvelous act. This year Phaugdawoo Pagoda festival will begin on 26th September and end on 13th October. 2nd and 6th of October is special recommend for taking photographs.

One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images, which are much revered by the lake-dwellers. Once a year, in late September – early October, there is a pagoda festival during which, four of the five Buddha images tour around the lake in a colorful.

 

Events

 

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival

The festival of Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is usually held during October. The festival takes about 18 days. It is the biggest occasion held in the Inle Lake¸ Shan State. The festival is held with great magnificence and pageantry. The holy Buddha’s images are placed on a decorated royal barge and towed by leg-rowers around the lake. There are also Shan traditional boat races participated by leg-rowers. People from all the villages nearby come to pay homage to the Images.

 

AROUND INLE

 

Nyaung Shwe

Nyaung Shwe is located in the Southern Shan State near the marvelous Inle Lake. To visit Nyaung Shwe, one has to take a flight from Yangon to Heho, and then travel by car or bus. Or one can travel by highway buses from Yangon to Taunggyi, then pass Shwe Nyaung and reach Nyaung Shwe.

You can also drop Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, on Shwe Nyaung – Nyaung Shwe road. From Shwe Nyaung, it takes 30 minutes to Nyaung Shwe. Then, you can travel by motorboat, from Nyaung Shwe to Inlay Lake. This town is the main transfer port to Inle Lake by ferry boats.

There are many interesting places in Nyaung Shwe where you can visit in a short time.

 

Yadana Man Aung Su Taung Pyay Pagoda

It lies on the route of the royal barge in Nyaung Shwe, Shan State (south) as one of the 84000 pagodas built by King Thiri Dhamma Thawka. It was renovated in Sakarit 721 by the Saopha of Hsiseng as he built Nyaung Shwe. It was further renovated by successive kings, finally by King Mindon’s son, Saopha Sao Maung in the present name of Yadana Man Aung.

In 1274, there was a big earthquake that felled the pagoda. It was renovated by Sao Maung himself to a height of 70 cubits and 160 cubits in girth that it has today as a pagoda encased in glass and golden structure.

In the tazaungs, there is Yadana Man Aung image with genuine relics, consecrated with a great deal of gold in the east Lokawidhu Yadana Qushaung Image in the south, Yadanatazaung with the hands placed together in the west and Buddha image with one hand turned upward and one hand turned down flanked by eight Arahantas in the north. In the tazaungs, buddha images were there to represent 32 Buddha from Tahningara to Gautama.

The other sites visitors can visit are Nyaung Shwe Cultural Museum, Shwe Yaung Gwe Monastery and Kyauk Phyu Gyi Buddha Image

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