Photo: The incredible Laykyun Sethyar at Bodhi Tataung.

Bodhi Tataung

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The amazing Bodhi Tataung standing Buddha image, Laykyun Sethyar, towers 130 metres above the surrounding countryside. There’s some debate, but the consensus seems to have China’s Spring Temple statue -- also a standing Buddha -- as the world’s tallest statue, with Monywa’s effort weighing in second. Not bad for little Monywa!





On a low hill on a plain to the east of town, it can be seen from most of Monywa, which fortunately compensates for the huge open-cast copper mine to the west, which can also be seen from any part of town with a view. The site is some 20 kilometres southeast of town, with Thanboddhay Monastery and its 500,000-plus Buddha images being found around half way, so it makes sense to visit the two on the same trip out.

Oh, just the view from the car park. Photo taken in or around Bodhi Tataung, Monywa, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

Oh, just the view from the car park. Photo: Mark Ord

The main entrance to the site, indicated by a pair of huge white elephants, has one of the Burmese special seated Buddha gardens (see also Hpa-an’s Lumbini), with row upon row of perfectly aligned and approximately life-sized images set in an expansive grove of trees.

You’ll then arrive in a main carpark area with tea shops and souvenir/Buddhist paraphernalia stands.

The viewing decks. Photo taken in or around Bodhi Tataung, Monywa, Burma_myanmar by Stuart McDonald.

The viewing decks. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In front of you, with the standing image to the rear, is another large statue -- this time a reclining Buddha -- plus giant lions guarding the entrance to a huge gold-coloured stupa. You can then either walk the short distance up the hill to the main images or take a moto-taxi for 1,000 kyat, bearing in mind that the multi-storey Buddha has no lifts. Otherwise there’s no entrance fee.

The Buddha garden at the entrance to the complex. Photo taken in or around Bodhi Tataung, Monywa, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

The Buddha garden at the entrance to the complex. Photo: Mark Ord

Each floor has mural-covered walls depicting dire warnings of what happens if you go astray. Burning in the fires of hell, crows pecking out your liver, what looks like spontaneous combustion or demons throwing you off clifftops – the usual kind of thing. Unlike other hollow Buddhas we’ve been to, this one is clean and tidy and images fresh -- it was only ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Bodhi Tataung
20 km southeast of Monywa
Daily dawn until dusk, last entrance to interior at 17:00.
Admission: Free

Location map for Bodhi Tataung

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