Friday, 23 August 2013

Shwe Lan Excerpt: Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda

The Meditator Guidebook to Burma is in its final stages! As the guide gets closer to publication, we will begin to share excerpts of what yogis may expect... some sneak previews of what is to come. Here is an excerpt from our Taunggyi section, describing one of the city's most famed pagodas:
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One of Taunggyi’s most famed pagodas, this one provides an impressive view of the city and surrounding hills, and on a clear day you can see clear across to Inle Lake. It’s also a very peaceful and (usually) quiet spot, with the higher winds tickling the pagoda bells and the cooler air making a nice place for a sit. You can come here by vehicle or motorbike, of if you’d like some exercise you can walk from downtown, which will take an hour or two depending on your stamina. Just walk to the east side of the city towards the mountain side, and eventually you’ll find the serpent-covered stairway just across the train tracks leading up. It’s a beautiful walk, and you can take a rest midway at Naga Monastery before reaching the peak. If you go in the morning you’ll see monks going and coming back from alms round. Just off the other side of the pagoda you can find Ruby Cave. Not far from here and clearly visible sits Toung Chun Zedi, a small pagoda on a steep jagged peak that is only accessibly by footpath. Several years ago it was struck by lightening, and it remains a place where few people visit.

Local residents pay their respects deep inside Ruby Cave in Taunggyi