AyeYarWaddy West bank Mann

Mann is on the Ayeyarwaddy west bank and has a long history of civilization and Buddhism. There was a Pyu ThunarParanta Taing near present day Lei Kaing which, during the time of KanYarZar Gyi, was a Pyu nation. KanYarzarGyi after losing a contest with his younger brother KanYarzarNge for the kingship of Tagaung, left it with his entourage and went to KaleTaunNyo and stayed for 6 mths. During the period Pyus, Kanyans asked for king and his son Dusetta was installed in ThunarParanta. KanYarzarGyi moved to Rakhine.

Dusetta, son of Kanyarzargyi, ruled ThuNarParanta (LeKaing-SaKu) after Pyu king Thambula was taken away by Dhanyawaddy army.

825 BCE. King Kan Yaza-dyi is established at Kale on the Chindwin. His son Umidusitta migrates to Kyauppadaung in Arakan and establishes the Arakan Kingdom. King Kan Yaza-nge is established in Tagaung.

…. visit of the Buddha and five hundred yahan to Sagaing. Changes in the earth prophesiedÑthe formation of the Bo-u lake, the rise of Popa mount (volcanic), the retreat of the sea from Thayekittaya near Prome(cf p.50), and the spread of Buddhism

I got to the Mann area in 1992 for the first time as part of a geological field party of BHP-Peroleum to ShweSetTaw. We came by 2 vehicles and stayed at the HtaukSharPin MOGE guesthouse both on the outgoing and return trips. At the time, we visited the NagaPwet taung which is the first time for me and the 2 expatriate geologists: Senior Geologist Jeanette from New Zealand and Matt Yacopetti from Australia. The MOGE geologist U Saw Hla had not told the expatriates that we would be visiting a mud volcano although I knew about it in advance and when we got there, although Jeanette did not show much emotion, Matt was visibly delighted and joyful. He remarked to me that many would pay to visit such a mud volcano. However, tour companies still have not included the NagaPwet taung in their itenieries yet.

The NagaPwet taung is a mud volcano, the only one in central Myanmar although there are said to be several in the Rakhine offshore. It got its name from the legend that says that a Nagar lives underneath in the depths of the mud volcano.

I heard about the  NagaPwet taung from my mother who told me about her visit there with her relatives when she was young, in the late 1920s. The local legend is that a Nagarr lives inside. When they got there, people gave tribute to the Nagarr and when wish / Nagarr Minn ko shit khoe taing taeAhShin NagarrMin / Dragon sir, I believe in you; please show a bubble / pwet pya. par, a bubble burst forth in a short time. Her older brother U Jone Sin was a non-believer and he wished after paying tribute to the Nagarr: AhShin NagarrMin / Dragon sir, I believe in you; please stop showing a bubble / pwet ma pya. par nae._a bubble burst forth in a short time nevertheless.

Is It The Dragon’s Lair?

THE NAGA PYWET TAUNG AT MINBU

By Harry Phone Thant

Enchanting Myanmar

Long, long time ago, even before Buddhism had taken roots in Myanmar people were awed with the forces of nature: the clashing of thunder and bolts of lightning that flashed in the sky must be of Gods fighting in heaven, the visitation of illnesses are but punishment from the Gods to those who had defied them. And smoke and fire belching from a volcano must have seem to them like a dragon(Naga in the Myanmar language) spitting out his fiery breath from the bowels of the earth.

Near Minbu, in central Myanmar, there is a unique geological site. It is called the NAGA PYWET TAUNG”( Mountain where the Naga Breathes). Pilgrims going to the nearby Naga pywet Taung Pagoda invariably also go to see this geological phenomenon. Actually for the scientifically-minded it is an ordinary mud volcano but to the ancient primitive people of the area, with their beliefs in supernatural beings, this must have been seen as a manifestation of the existence of the fiery dragons(naga) living deep inside the earth.

This mud volcano is not very high. In fact it is just about 10-20 feet high. But it belches grey, oozy mud periodically, accompanied by distinctive noxious sulphur fumes, further consolidating the peoples’ belief in the mythical creatures.

However, there is one mystery here. In the Myanmar calender we have a notion that the Naga points its head to a certain direction at certain time of the year. Myanmar people belief that it is bad to travel down the direction of the Naga’s tail as it will bring misfortune, either when travelling or moving house. Better to transverse the Naga’s body or to go in the direction of the mouth. And the curious thing is that the flow of lava from this mud volcano inexplicably shifts direction according to the direction of the naga’s tail as shown in the appropriate Myanmar calender month.

So the US of A has its geysers in Yosemite but we have Minbu Mud Volcano. Maybe this is truly the lair of the fire-breathing dragon. Who knows???????????

Buddha visited central Myanmar for a week during which Buddha’s footprints were made in SetTawYar on Mann chaung not far from NgaPhe near the western Rakhine yoma; Buddha also visited the KyaungTawYar near LaeKaing on the Mone chaung; Buddha also got to Minbu southern edge on the Sabwet chaung at present day SaKaTae pagoda and also north of Minbu, present day AukKyaung, where a monastery of the monk Mahar Ponna who met Buddha in India and later became an Arahant was living. Buddha gave sermons for 7 days at this SandaKuu monastery and later a small pagoda was built on this site, which much later was renovated to this size and shape.

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Kyaung Lein pagoda, Minbu

a Bagan style pagoda / temple in Minbu

I was surprised when I first saw it until I realized that Minbu was Bagan territory which extended till the PyiTawThar Kyun near MiChaung Yae

The pagoda legend says that it was built by MaMinbu who was taken as queen by king Sale NgaKhway 894 – 924 against her wish. She revenged upon him for her sufferings. King Sale NgaKhway reigned a long time before king Anawratha 1044 – 1077.

As the KyaungLein pagoda is a temple of late Bagan era, the MaMinbu stupa would be much earlier, pre Anawratha when Shin Arahan brought Theravada Buddhism to Bagan.

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ancient bricks at wall of the KyaungLein pagoda

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stupa south of the KyaungLein pagoda entrance Chinthes / lions

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MyinPhyuShin Nat Nann near the KyaungLein pagoda

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the KyaungLein pagoda

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KyaungLein pagoda from MaMinbu pagoda

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MaMinbu pagoda

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MaMinbu pagoda before renovation

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MaMinbu pagoda after renovation

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AukKyaung pagoda

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Nann Oo နန္းဦး pagoda

There is a Nann Oo နန္းဦး village with Nann Oo နန္းဦး pagoda near the AukKyaung pagoda

It is said that this is the place where king Narathihapate 1256 – 1287 stayed at first, while fleeing from Bagan when the Mongols invaded and had the Nann Oo နန္းဦး pagoda built

Later, king Narathihapate went to Pathein, but on the way, it is recorded in an inscription that he stayed at HleKya, west of Pyay and while there sent Shin DiThar ParMauk as envoy to Chinese / Mongol capital of Chengdu for armistice. After staying the lent / WarTwinn on the way, the abbot succeeded in persuading emperor Kublai Khan to withdraw the Mongol forces from Myanmar

The Mongols had reached till Tayokemaw, south of Pyay but did not pursue Narathihapate further

On the way back after mongol withdrawal, Narathihapate was poisoned by his son Thihathu of Pyay, forced to take poisoned food under threat of sword / Dahr Moe Pyi AhHseit Khat Htarr Tae SarrTaw Hset Tae ဒါးမိုးျပီး အဆိပ္ခပ္ထားတဲ ့ စားေတာ္ဆက္

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Nann Oo pagoda entrance

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Nann Oo pagoda image

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the king, queen, minister and general

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old bricks of Nann Oo pagoda wall

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