Photo: A stunning religious monument.

Kawgun Cave

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One of the region’s most spectacular caves, Kawgun is found in a small limestone outcrop just over the river from Hpa-an off the Thaton Highway. Amazing Buddhist carvings and stucco work line the shallow caverns and limestone cliffs, and are said to date back as far as the seventh century. A few ancient Hindu images remain and bear witness to the area’s former religious diversity.

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Initially then this was a sacred site for the area’s earlier Mon inhabitants — it was said to have been originally created by a Mon queen — but it has been added to and expanded for some 1,400 years. The main cave itself is small and shallow — nearby Saddar or Shan State’s Pindaya this is not. It houses various seated and reclining Buddha images, but what is spectacular is that almost every inch of the cavern’s walls and roof, plus the adjacent limestone cliffs, are covered in red-painted ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)


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