Sagaing is one of the most important religious centers in the world, especially for Buddhism, with nearly 600 monasteries and convents overflowing with young novices and experienced monks and nuns. They are lovely woman and girls who are dressed in flowing pink attires and always welcome guests with pretty warm smile. Sagaing is a major centre for meditation and religious retreats, which means great views not of a busy city and streets but of wide expenses of green trees bizarrely dotted with the tops of hundreds of spires and pagodas and religious buildings.
- Location: 20 km southwest of Mandalay
- Status: capital of Sagaing Division
- Area: 2,483.2 square km
- Population: 652,591 (estimated 2002)
- Religion: Buddhism
- Highlight: an important religious and monastic center
Once crossing the Sagaing Bridge, you can see the hilltops, fully covered with pagodas, and banners proclaiming Buddha’s teaching. It is the famous refuge from all ills and tribulations, the home for over 600 monasteries housing monks and nuns who are located for Buddhist studies and meditation. The Padamyazedi Pagoda dates back from 1300, whilst the Umin Thonze or thirty caves pagoda has many Buddha images in crescent shaped colonnade. Mural paintings can be seen in the Tilawkaguru Cave Temple which was built around 1672. At nearby village of Ywah Taung, you can see silversmiths in the process of making bowls and other items of silver by traditional methods. The most impressive Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda nearby was constructed in 1312. It lies at top of Nga-Pha Hill, one of the 37 hilltops of Sagaing Hills, which resembles a frog and hence Nga-Pha Hill. Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda was built in 674 by sage U Ponnya of Pintaya Tazeeshine Thinhathu. It enshrined Buddha relics revered by successive kings. Since its construction, it is known to have the earliest “soon” offered by celestial beings before any by human beings. It is also the first pagoda offered “soon” on the full-moon day of every year of al hilltop ones. It is reputed to grant 14 wishes such as being free of killing by others, getting promotions, and having an insight into things and events. The view of Sagaing from Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin and its approach is really marvelous. Once visiting Sagaing Hill, it would be a big mistake if you pass Ywa Htaung Village which is well known for many ateliers with traditional Bama style. Silver-ware workshop can be found on the way of Sagaing-Monywa high-way road in Ywa-Htaung Village. Various kinds of silverware such as jewelries, bowls, trays, boxes and Buddha images are made. The Silversmith Jewelry & Workshop, which is located in Omaha, Nebraska in the Rockbrook Village shopping center, features unique jewelry created by local artists and international designers. You will receive excellent service with all of your jewelry needs. They will help you with engagement & wedding rings, mother’s rings, anniversary diamonds, jewelry repairs and ring sizing. It would be great if you visiting Sagaing in January because this is usually the time for the Naga New Year Festival held by Sagaing Region’s natives. This festival is most well-known from all over the world and many tourists come to visit the rare tribe’s culture of Myanmar.