A picturesque town on the Chindwin River, is Monywa with a typical un spoilt sites and it’s only a three hours’ drive from 136 km northwest Mandalay. Monywa serves as a major trade center for India and Burma through Kalay-Myo-Road and Chindwin River.
The northwestern city of Monywa lies on the eastern bank of Chindwin River, with approximate 300,000 inhabitants, mostly Burmese. Monywa serves as the gateway to the entire western Chindwin and Ayerwaddy rivers, and pave a passage to Indian border across Chin Hills, enabling the town as a sub-hub to trade with central Myanmar and India.
Thanboddhay is an awesome place, which has been linked to the Borobodur temple of Indonesia. The temple compound is guard by two white elephants, a deviation from the usual Leograph as in the many of Buddhist shrines. The temple walls inside, the pyramidal pillars on the outside, every terrace and corner contain seated Buddha images in niches that claims a total of 582,357 images – that’s over half a million!
A big area where some big monuments stood, Boddhi Tataung is about 4-km east of Thanboddhay, where 90-m hollowed reclining Buddha image and 132m standing Buddha image perched on top of Po Kaung Hills, overlooking the panoramic views to the Chindwin valley and a good spot for catching sunset.
Po Win Thaung caves is located 25km west of Monywa, on the western bank of Chindwin River and accessible either by direct road over new Monywa bridge or more enjoyable ferry crossing to the other side of Chindwin River and take a local jeep. Po Win Daung is a sprawling place, and the trails lead you to the numerous sandstone caves where the images inside were carved out from the living rock and the walls and ceilings were covered with bright mural paintings of geometrical patterns in 3D as well as those of ancient Buddhist stories (Jatakas). Most of the artifacts found here are dated the period between 14 and 18th centuries but no one know for sure about its history.