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Why Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is special ?
The Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery dates back to the early 19th century and has finely carved wooden structures laminated in gold (using gold leaf) in addition to beautiful statues and elaborate ornaments. Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is just a short walk north of the town and is well-known by photographers for its unique oval-shape windows which serve as eye-catching frames when novice monks stand to look out. The monastery has a beautifully carved, gilded ceiling. The red painted, teak-wood building is an interesting architectural structure on its own. It’s over 150 years old and sits on sturdy stilts. Inside are mosaics, mirrors and ornate carvings, some gilded with gold.
What to explore at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery?
The monastery is not decorated with carvings like the royal monasteries and pagodas in Mandalay. It is dedicated for regional poor boys to live. Otherwise, it also provides them an education and meals more than they will have at their home.
The monks live in a dormitory, where each has his own space. Monks, who live here, have meals, take baths and wash their clothes together. The dormitory’s area is a half of the monastery building. The other half is a temple with an ornately carved ceiling and the Buddhas. A walkway around the central sanctuary has a Buddha at each niche.
How to get to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery?
Visitors can easily access the Shwe Yan PyayMonastery just between Heho Airport and Inle Lake.
- A lovely wooden monastery
- Small but interesting monastery
- A Gem Outside Nyaungshwe
- Peaceful and beautiful building
- A very old monastery, full of history
Nyaungshwe Myanmar (Burma)
Tips for you
This is a place always packed with tourists. A very picturesque wooden monastery from late 19th century is a must stop for the tourists on their way to Nyaungshwe (Inle Lake) or upon leaving the town. For those staying in Nyaungshwe, they can be visited this place at off-peak hours: either before 9:30am or just before the sunset and it will give them a huge benefit without crawling though the crowd. The main attraction is the wooden monastery with the oval-shape windows where novices sit and study and pose for the photographs. The main shrine inside the monastery has large lacquer Buddha with a modest collection of antique religious artifacts including scripture boxes, Buddha statues of all sizes and postures, and beautiful ceiling lamps. Remember, this is a living monastery and one should be very careful in dress (cover your legs and shoulders) code and lower your voice. There is a room for the chief monk on the right side of the shrine and dormitory for the novices in the backside. The room on the left side of the shrine is turned into a storeroom. It is forbidden to enter into the dormitory although you may see some negligence tourists. The whitewashed brick and cement temple in a separate compound is a unique to Myanmar and you couldn’t find an identical architecture in all of Myanmar. There are hundreds of tiny niches containing tiny stone Buddha status are also covered with red robe. There are a few Buddhist (Jataka) stories displayed in the form of glass mosaic on the interior walls and the work here is fabulous. If you have time, explore the village in the west of the monastery and in the afternoon, there are villagers bathing/washing across the road at a very scenic lakeside location.