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Get lost in the religious maze at Kakku Temple Myanmar

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Myanmar Travel Guide

Myanmar's Kakku Pagoda currently has an astonishing 2,478 stupas, arranged in neat rows on a hillside in Shan State. This is known as one of the most spectacular religious monuments in Myanmar.

Information about Kakku Pagoda Myanmar

Kakku Pagoda Myanmar is a temple complex located on the hills overlooking the southeast valley of Inle Lake. This remote location, which only recently opened to visitors, is located in the territory of the Pa-Oh, an ethnic group related to the Karen people.

Kakku Temple is a huge collection of 2,478 stupas believed to have been built 2000 years ago, some dating back to the 3rd century BC.

Although it is a unique and interesting attraction, the location itself does not attract too many tourists because of its remote location, with no public transport connections. If you want to reach tourists, you need to go through winding village roads. Although it's a bit difficult, the scenery along the way is quite attractive.

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History of Kakku Pagoda Myanmar

The stupas at Kakku Myanmar Pagoda were built at different times. The first stupas were probably built in the 12th century and the last stupas were built in the 18th century. There are various theories regarding the history of the Kakku temples. One theory is that the complex was created as part of a movement in the 3rd century, led by Indian Emperor Ashoka, who built a large number of religious monuments across South Asia and Southeast Asia aim to spread the Buddhist faith throughout the world. Another theory is that the first stupa was built by King Alaungsithu, who ruled the Bagan Empire in the 12th Century.

The largest Kakku pagoda is about 40 meters high, located in the center of the site and is said to have been built by Alaungsithu, King of the Bagan empire in the 12th century. Alaungsithu was a devout Buddhist who traveled visited many places in the Kingdom and built Buddhist temples and monuments throughout his empire to create merit and spread Buddhism. Throughout the centuries, many other temples were added.

Kakku Myanmar Pagoda Complex is truly a fascinating maze like collection of religious buildings, each with its own story, its own style and each with its own unique symbolic meaning.

How to get to Kakku Pagoda

Kakku Pagoda Myanmar is located in the hills southeast of Inle Lake. The 60km drive from Taunggyi takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. From the western end of Inle Lake it takes another hour to reach the complex. Alternatively, a very scenic but challenging hike through the hills that takes between 5 and 7 hours, depending on the starting point, will also bring visitors within reach of Kakku temple.

Opening hours of Kakku Myanmar Pagoda

Kakku Myanmar Temple is open daily from 8am to 6pm. To visit you need to pay a fee.

Architecture of Kakku Pagoda in Myanmar

Kakku Myanmar Pagoda Complex currently has nearly 2,500 pagodas, most of them have similar shapes and sizes. The pagodas form long rows, close together on a square area.

In the center of the complex is the 40 meter high main stupa, surrounded by smaller stupas that are mostly well preserved. The most popular architecture at Kakku Myanmar Pagoda is the "hti", an architectural element shaped like a decorative umbrella. The centuries-old pagodas are made from bricks and plastered with stucco. Some pagodas are ruined, some have bushes and trees growing out of them. Many stupas are decorated with stucco sculptures, especially some that still retain their original colors quite intact.

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Myanmar's Kakku Pagoda Festival is held during Tabaung, the 12th month of the traditional Burmese calendar (March), marking the end of the cool season. This festival lasts nine days, during which the Pa-Oh people dance in traditional costumes and bring food offerings and pay homage to the pagoda.

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Attractions near Kakku Myanmar Pagoda
Phaung Daw Pagoda

Phaung Daw Pagoda is a prominent red-yellow terraced pagoda on Inle Lake. This work impresses visitors thanks to its spectacular architecture inside and out. The walls of the temple are decorated with murals telling Buddhist stories. At the center of the building is an elaborately decorated temple with 5 small Buddha statues that play an important role in Buddhism.

The statues at Phaung Daw U Pagoda are famous Buddhist artifacts covered with gold leaves. Every year, an 18-day temple festival is held to honor five images of Buddha.

Jumping Cats Monastery

Nga Hpe Khuang Monastery is known for its jumping cats, which in previous years were trained by new monks to jump through hoops between recitations. Today, although the cats still live at the monastery, they have stopped jumping.

Nga Hpe Khuang Monastery is one of the oldest and largest monasteries on Inle Lake. Made of wood and built on stilts, it offers wonderful views of the lake and surrounding areas. Inside the monastery, visitors have the opportunity to see young monks peacefully studying and golden statues sitting on thrones.

Indein Stupa Complex

The Indein Stupa complex is a "sea" of ornate stupas rising from the ground like a forest of stupas. All built into the hillsides, the complex now contains more than 1,600 stupas, some intricately carved and gilded. Some stupas have been restored, some have cracks at the base, leading many to hypothesize that the structures here were encroached by the jungle.

There are two different groups of stupas at the complex. The first temple is located near where the boat docks and many of the temples here are decorated with images of mythical animals. The second group is located atop a hill, from where visitors can take in panoramic views of the Indein stupa complex and the surrounding area below.

Shwe Yaunghwe Khuang

The most photographed monastery in the Inlie Lake area is Shwe Yaunghwe Kyuang. The building is built of wood and intricately carved. It is famous for its oval windows that create the perfect frame for photos of young monks studying.

At around 11 o'clock every day, monks gather to meditate, allowing visitors the opportunity to observe or even participate in meditation themselves. Inside the monastery, the walls are lined with thousands of small alcoves, each containing a small Buddha statue. These statues were donated by people from many different countries such as France, America and Australia.

Myanmar's Kakku pagoda complex is one of the largest and most spectacular ancient monuments in Asia. The complex containing thousands of pagodas and temples built over several centuries is truly a tourist destination not to be missed on your Myanmar travel itinerary.

We hope you find this information on Myanmar tourism to be instructive and useful for your 2023 trip planning. Myanmar's Kakku pagoda is a fantastic destination to learn about Myanmar culture and history, and it will undoubtedly provide you with an amazing experience. Choose Threeland Travel to assist you in planning your trip to Myanmar if you are seeking for a reputable and competent travel operator. We can tailor your schedule to your preferences and budget, and we can handle everything from ticket reservations to housing and transportation. Please visit our website or call us right now to learn more about our unique promotions and packages. Don't pass up the opportunity to see Myanmar with Threeland Travel!