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Nestled on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River in central Myanmar, Sagaing was once the royal capital of Burma during the reign of King Naungdawgyi and stands today as an important religious and monastic centre with an array of Buddhist temples and monasteries
Connected to Mandalay in the southwest by the British-built Inwa Bridge (Old Ava Bridge), the small town is is essentially a river port trading in cotton, sesame, salt, and fruit; however, flocks of visitors are drawn to the myriad of white-and-gold stupas that shimmer alluringly on the series of hillocks that rise behind the town, creating an enthralling scene.
Taking centre stage is the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, one of the oldest temples on Sagaing Hill, which is connected to the town by shady stairways leading up the hill, offering magnificent views over of the village and surrounding monasteries. Another must-see is the golden egg-shaped Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, which was built by King Thalun in 1636-1648 and is reputedly home to a number of important Buddhist relics including part of his tooth and a beautiful emerald bowl.
Visit the meditation caves of the Tilawkaguru Cave Monastery, tucked into the side of the Sagaing hillside and home to a series of beautifully vivid mural paintings or head to the Ywa Htaung Quarters, renowned for its superb silversmith works before heading back to the luxurious comfort of the Rupar Mandalar Hotel, where you can unwind in style.
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