After spending the morning sailing, we arrived into Sagaing which is southwest of Mandalay. Sagaing is an important religious and monastic center.  It is home to 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns.

Soon U Ponya Shin is located at the top of a hill and from there its a breathtaking view of the river and surrounding pagodas.  Hundreds of stupas shining in the sunlight complete the awe-inspiring vista.

The pagoda itself is one of the oldest and one of the richest of the many pagodas in Sagaing.  It sits high on top of Nga-pha Hill, one of many hilltops in the Sagaing Hills.  It was built in 1312.

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Just a few bits of information about the slideshow pictures: The frog that you see represents the original name of the hill – Frog Hill.  The frog is supposed to be a good omen.  You can see the glass container filled with donations of people who hope to gain good omens. The rabbit statue that stands beside the Buddha is believed to bring good luck if you rub him.  So I hope I get good luck!  The Buddha and serpents were seen as we neared the pagoda entrance.  The serpents are protectors of the Buddha. I took a photo of the colorful ceramic tile floor that we walked on outside the pagoda.

Here are some of the views from the top:

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Irrawaddy River  in the background

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If you look hard you can see a line through the picture – it is a series of stairs that go from the bottom to the topmost pagoda.

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On the way down the hill, our guide stopped at this stand to buy some Longan.  I had a sample – It had a white fruit inside and was juicy sweet!

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We also had a short visit to a monastic orphanage school and then on to our last excursion.  See the next post for photos of the monastic school and our final excursion to the teak U-Bein Bridge.

 

 

 

 

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