Mon state TravelTravelling Mon state
Mythic rock & concealed gems
Murlamyine is the capitol of the state of Mon. Situated on the bank of the Thanlwin river, it is certainly an excellent place for a trip back to that time. Discover the enchanting verdant town, encircled by the rivers of Truishaw to the West and Roof of gleaming Gothic Eagles to the east, pass by the Mahamuni Pagoda, where even female visitors can join the Buddha Master Room, the Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, Kipling's favorite pagoda, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the town, and don't miss a trip to the three Royal Lordship erected La Saluti Mosque due to its pale colours,
Mogul Shah Mosque with its simple Muslim bows and Kaladan Mosque, which until a few years ago still resembled a birth days pie, but has now been restored and the façade is clad in blank bricks to give it a more "decent" appearance, and First Baptist church, also known as "Judson Church" because it was established by US missionsary Adoniram Judson, is the first Baptist building in Myanmar!
As soon as the boundaries are crossed, the Mon State unveils its full potential.
More than two and a half years after the signing of a cease-fire by the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Mon state in January 2012, the state of Mon is already turning into a country with abundant natural assets and fast growth, as I noted on a recent trip. Tango's coach (arranged by Tango Travel & Tour Express) left Yangon at 23:00.
The group was waiting for the morning light to come over Melan Mountain at breakfest. About 6:30 we went 45 min to Melan Mountain, 22. The Melan Pagoda is constructed on three large rocks that lie on top of each other at the top of the Melan Mountain. Walking would be precipitous, but we made it by auto in five min - something that still amazes U Kyu Li, 69, the Karen curator chief of the Kuthae-nar-yone pagoda.
But Melan Mountain has been here much longer than the street that leads to it, and the trip seems like a trip into the cave of a kite. First I respected the Melan Pagoda, where the Buddha's bristles are anchored. According to the tales, when the Buddha came to Mon State to preach, he gave six of his six haired heads to the Kyaiktiyo, Zinkyaik, Kaylartha, Kuthaerayone and Melan people.
Fifty of these bristles ended up in the state of Mon, one in the state of Kayin. However, all the recluses kept their bristles in big rocks. In Melan's case, the bristles are anchored in a small stone tower on a cliff that is wonderfully poised on top of two others, with two inch between the top and bottom.
In the vicinity is also the corpus of an Arhats, or a dignified monk called Ku Mara, who was killed when squashed by a large boulder in a rocky cavern that measures only 1 feet x 3 feet. Half an hours on the fog of Melan we drove on to Ku-thae-nar-yone.
Meanwhile it was raining, and many brooks streamed into a channel that we heard had been blocked to generate hydroelectric power for nearby towns and cities. A further Buddha head was anchored in the top of the two Ku-thae-nar-yones and in two body of arhatas who came to Mon State to spread Buddha's teachings.
It was a wonderful area around the hill, full of lush forests. Kaylartha, the Haarpagoda of another Buddha, is located 3 mile from Taungson, Mon State, and can be climbed to an altitude of over 1600 ft. The Zinkyaik hill is even higher, with over 3000 ft. The Zinkyaik Pongo could be seen from the top of the Zinkyaik Falls, 3 min from the foot of the hill.
As Daw Eaindyay Kyaw Khaung said when we arrived at the bottom of the falls, we were exhausted from seated and touring.