Amazing Pindaya Cave
The ancient caves are about one mile southwest of the town, and can be reached by taking a horse-cart, or motoring there by jeep or just walking along on foot. Except for the young and energetic, the best way is to go leisurely be horse-cart to the foot of the hills, reserving your energy for the 200 steps up the covered stairway leading to the cave entrance and for exploring the huge meandering maze made up of numerous caves. The caves are supposed to be 200,00 million years old and since ancient times they have been places of worship and veneration with 8,094 Buddha images made from various materials like teak wood, marble, alabaster, brick, cement and lacquer, and all enshrined in the nooks and corners of the winding caverns. At the entrance to the main cave thee is a pagoda 50 feet in height. This pagoda is called Shwe U-min Hpaya or the Golden Cave pagoda. The tazaung or prayer hall was built by the famous hermit U Khanti who also built many of the religious edifices on Mandalay Hill. The entire length of the cave is 490 feet. The numerous stalactites and stalagmites in these limestone caves, from fanciful shapes and have given rise to such names as the "Fairy Princess Loom", "Posts for tying horses and elephants" and so on. Some of the smaller caves used meditation chanmers are accessible only if you crawl in on your knees and elbows. Visitors should plan to stay for one or two nights in Pindaya to explore the natural beauties all around; the tranquil lake, the limestone caves, the ancient pagodas and images and the lovely old trees.