Visiting Mrauk U in Myanmar is like a whole new experience. The city, with hundreds of temples and pagodas, form a jaw-dropping sight in the hills across the northern part of Rakhine State. These temples and Pagodas are roughly split into Northern, eastern, southern and western groups. They are primarily day to day places of worship for local villagers however, you can find on some temples that there is a little information in English such as the date of construction and name. You will be able to see the locations of most of the temples and pagodas on maps that can be picked up for free at most hotels. The northern part is probably the most highly concentrated part in Mrauk U, but also the best sunset viewing point and easily walk able from the town. The most famous structure which sits in the northern part is the Shittaung Pagoda. Unfortunately, it is not quite ‘original’ as there have been concrete fillings, but it still remains roughly the same. The interior however is still in great tact with some vivid colors to be explored and long history too. The eastern and southern groups are much more spread out and broadly speaking not as big with the exception of the Kothaung temple although, they are still a must on any visit to Mrauk U. The best thing to do is a southern to eastern loop which will allow you to explore many of the temples. The Kothaung temple is will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip to Mrauk U with the astonishing 90,000 Buddha images it is believed to contain. The main town itself is centered around the unfortunate crumbling walls of the palace and is best explored by bike. There are simple places to eat in the town which are in the surrounding areas of the palace and include tea houses and beer stations.
Key Attractionssee the surroundings
Shit thaung pagoda
Shit Thaung Pagoda (Temples of 80000 pagodas) built in 1536 AD in Mrauk Oo. The first terrace is 40 feet high and the walls are built with stone blocks.The stone wall on the upper platform thick 9 ft and 12 feet high on the west and south sides. Along the south and north walls there are brick pagodas. The main shrine is said to encase 84000 holy relics and are dedicated to the 84000 future Buddhas. And this temple became known as temple of 80000 pagodas. The temple is the tunneled structure with the main cave hall surrounded by tunnels and also connected to a prayer hall.
Koe Thaung Pagoda
Koe-Thaung Pagoda is the largest one in Mrauk-U. The name means “Temple of 90,000 Buddha Images”. The site is on flat marshy land, surrounded by paddy fields, and northeast of the place in the centre of the Mrauk-U. The Koe-Thaung was struck by lightning because the king attempted to build a pagoda of 90,000 images to outdo his father’s Shit Thaung Shrine of 80,000 images. The temple was built between 1554 and 1556 by King Dikkha. Mrauk-U is also a place where cultural heritages have flourished for many years.
A new Mrauk U museum is located near the palace site. It displays some old artefacts of Vesali, Launggret and Mrauk U periods. The bronze Buddha icons of Rakhine are equistic in design.Various inscribed stone inscriptions in Sanskrit, Rakhine and Arabic are also displayed Votive tablets, Krishna Vishnu, Bodhisattvas, dvarapala, stone htis, lintels coins, musical instruments, ceramics wares are also on display. Everyone interested in the cultural artifacts and ancient relics are finding then in one place. In the Museum, a stone Wunti God Image of 15th century A.D in Mrauk-U period and a part of stone pillars from Zeti of 8th century in Watha Li period are shown.
Dukkanthein stands on a hill which is about 30 feet in height. Its structure is like a flat surface in the form of a drum. King Minphalaung built the pagoda in 1571 A.D. Dukkanthein was built with sandstones and layers of bricks over the roof. The measurement of the temple is 190 feet from north to south and 200 feet from east to west.