Myanmar is full of wonder and intrigue. Here, you have a country that’s rarely visited, offering prime opportunities to explore lands, culture and heritage that is pure Burmese. You can’t beat the golden majesty of Shwedagon in Yangon, or match the endless temples in Bagan or even come close to the calming influence that peaceful Ngapali Beach offers. Or perhaps there is a town to match? Delve deeper into unknown Myanmar and discover the lost city of Mrauk U.
It may be lost in time, but it certainly hasn’t been forgotten. The city was once a very important and powerful one, it was in fact the capital of the Mrauk U Kingdom, Rakhine State (what was called Arakan at the time) in Western Myanmar. Because of its position on the Bay of Bengal, the port settlement attracted traders from all over, including Portugal, Holland and France who exchanged goods with the locals as well as Bengals and Moguls.
As Mrauk U prospered with trade, so did the construction of elaborate and beautiful temples and pagodas. Through time, the city also became a religious center for Buddhist learning. Many were built, though not as much as Bagan’s 13,000. Most of Mrauk U’s temples were constructed of hewn stone bricks, while mud and clay bricks form most of Bagan’s structures.
Koethaung Temple is one of the prominent sites in Mrauk U, being the city’s largest and holder of 90,000 Buddha images. Shitthaung Temple is next in line, holding only 80,000 images. This temple is quite peculiar because of its maze-like and fortress-like layout containing countless relief images of Buddhas, god, deities and animals. And if you want to be in the presence of Buddha? It can’t get any closer than being near his tooth, which the multi-spire Andawthein Ordination Hall claims to hold. Plus many more fascinating temples and ruins await, each revealing the wonderful history of Buddhism and telling its own story about the former glory of Mrauk U.
Lift the veil that is covering Myanmar and be a pioneer. In addition to Mrauk U, you can be one of the few to step foot and truly experience Burma. Just look through our Myanmar tours page and find something that suits you. Whether it is the thrill of an adventure, the beautiful site of unique landscapes, the mixture of Burmese and colonialism architecture and even the relaxation of the beach, everything’s covered in Myanmar.
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