Coming to Myanmar – a country with a long-standing Buddhist culture – you cannot ignore Pindaya Caves. This is the place where many of the Buddhist treasures and statues are concentrated in this country.
1/ General information about Pindaya Caves
Pindaya Caves is situated next to the Pindaya town, Shan State, Myanmar. This is a Buddhist pilgrimage site and an attractive destination on a limestone ridge in the region of Myelat. This cave is 100km from Inle Lake – a famous tourist spot of Myanmar so that if you come to Inle, do not forget to visit Pindaya.
This cave is 1200m above sea level. This spot is very attractive to those who want to explore the long history and pilgrimage to the Buddha land. According to legend, the name Pindaya is derived from Pinguya, which means “catching the spider”. There used to have a giant spider that lived in caves. There were seven princesses in the lake below and they were captured by the spider, it locked them into a cave. They are rescued by Yawnghwe’s Prince Kummabhaya after shooting the spider with a bow and arrow. The first statue is sculpted to express gratitude for saving their lives. The name of the Pindaya caves was born from that story.
Pindaya Caves – where many of the Buddhist treasures and statues are concentrated
2/ Best time to visit Pindaya
According to Myanmar travel experience, the autumn is the best time to enjoy the natural scenery around Pindaya as well as discover all the mysteries here. At this ‘’golden’’ time, from October to February, the sky is clear, there is no or very little rain, the air is not too cold during the day, the trees and nature are also more beautiful. Therefore, it is very suitable for sightseeing and exploration activities.
3/ How to get to the Pindaya Caves?
Visitors can get to this place by some transports below:
1.1. If you depart from Inle Lake: From Inle Lake, you can easily get to Pindaya after just over an hour by car. The taxi will be the most ideal choice at the moment and it’s always available in Inle. In Myanmar, the cost of taking a taxi does not depend on the length of the journey. The driver will give a price as soon as you get on the car. So please note: Always bargain before getting in the car to get the best price!
1.2. If you depart from other citys: If you come to Pindaya from other tourist cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan,… You can move to Pindaya Caves in the following ways:
Today, the aviation industry in Myanmar is quite developed, so you can choose to travel by plane to Pindaya quickly, however, the cost will be quite expensive. You just need to book a flight to Heho airport, which is about 30 km from Pindaya, then continue to take a taxi to move to the caves.
Buses are a popular public transport in Myanmar thanks to the comfort, good quality, and inexpensive costs. So many tourists prefer to choose this means to move to Inle lake, then Pindaya. There are many travel agent in this country will help you to check price and book a ticket such as myanmarbusticket.com, oway.com.mm,…
Although this is a much slower way to travel than buses and planes, many people still choose to take the train to see the scenery of the two sides passing slowly. This will be an unforgettable experience for tourists when visiting Myanmar, in case you have a lot of time.
4/ The trekking journey to explore Pindaya Caves
After getting to Pindaya town, from the foot of the cave, you will have to trek up to explore every corner of the cave. The journey will be quite challenging but also very interesting for those who love conquering. Visitors need to climb hundreds of high steps. The walkways are narrow but quite smooth and convenient, the lights are installed. On both sides of the road, you can admire the peaceful natural scenery while enjoying the cool, fresh, and clean air. This movement will help you feel much more relaxed, forget all tiredness.
Guests can use the elevator to reach the temple gate. However, we recommend you to trek because the distance is not too long, and it will help you have a great experience.
The road for visitors to conquer main cave of Pindaya
5/ Interesting features in Pindaya caves
After a short trek, you will reach the main cave. Guests need to buy a ticket to visit the cave for 2 USD. The gate of the cave is designed quite spacious, on the two sides, people sell many eye-catching souvenirs.
In front of the entrance, there is the Shwe U Min pagoda, that is known as the Golden Cave Pagoda where many pilgrims come to worship. When going through this temple, a large golden bell is located at the dynamic entrance. Guests are encouraged to purchase gold foil stickers outside. The extremely impressive bell became blurry when compared to the countless thousands of Buddha statues beyond sight. The statues are piled up on each other. Twisting paths lead to the main room and back down to the caves below. It is like making your path follow the maze of Buddha. The entire passageway inside the Pindaya caves is covered with lumpy ceramic tiles, so it’s very safe for visitors, the main path is equipped the slippery carpet.
The Pindaya caves has nearly 8,000 Buddha golden statues
According to the introduction, there are nearly 8,000 Buddha statues that stretch 150 meters in length of the cave, many of which are very precious, all painted with brilliant gold. Some statues have their own shape and style, they represent the style for different eras. The statue is so large that there are only paths for two people to avoid each other. They are decorated from the cave to the ceiling, so visitors should trek from the entrance to the top to see the panorama of the cave with thousands of Buddha statues. It looked dignified but gorgeous. These statues were built according to the merits of Buddhists around the world. At the foot of each statue, the words of the master of the statue were written.
In the Pindaya caves, there is also a circle of reincarnation. According to the people here, if pilgrims recite Buddha’s name, going around seven times, they will be lucky.
Many visitors have been tricked by the myriad of endpoints without trying to find the caves below. Some rooms below are larger than those above. It is not uncommon to see workers who are preparing more Buddha statues. Here, families and monks are praying and taking photos.
6/ Note when visiting Pindaya Caves
- The one-time price for a visit to thesecaves is US $3 /person, and the camera fee is about 300 kyats.
- Like other temples in Myanmar, when visiting this sacred site, you should dress politely, speak quietly and avoid teasing each other.
- The people here do not burn incense in the Pindaya cave, the only possesty that you can bring is fresh flowers.
- Don’t forget to buy souvenirs at the outside the temple gate to retain memories about this interesting tourist attraction.
- To serve the needs of tourists, there are also many restaurants according to the traditional architecture of Myanmar with very beautiful, airy space. Here, you can try the typical dishes of this area with good price.
Pindaya Caves is one of the most exotic caves in the world. Here, you can not only admire the marvels of nature but also thousands of sparkling and sacred Buddha statues. So if you have a chance to visit Myanmar, don’t miss this interesting place!