Overview of Bago
Monywa is a city in Sagaing Division, Myanmar, located 136 km northwest of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River. It is along the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line but is best reached by bus as the road from Mandalay is in reasonably good shape.
The name Monywa comes from “Mon” meaning “cake or snack food” and “Ywa” which is the Myanmar word for village. There is a legend which says that in the old days a Myanmar king fell in love with a seller of cakes from this town and made her his queen. The original name some say, is Mon – thema- ywa or ” Village of the woman cake seller”. There has been a big village at Monywa from the Bagan Period. The classical name for Monywa is Thalawadi. The chronicles mention that Monywa was one of the places where King Alaungphayar encamped for the night on his campaign to Manipur in 1758.
During the Myanmar kings’ time Monywa remained just a big village as the administrative centre for the region was at Ahlon. It was only a year after the Annexation of 1886 that Monywa became the Headquarters of the Lower Chindwin District. In the last few years with the legalizing of the border trade with India, Monywa has grown into a bustling trading centre for agricultural produce from the surrounding Chindwin Valley, especially beans, orange, pulses and jaggery (palm sugar). In addition, the local industry includes mills for the production of cotton, flour, noodles, and edible oils. Monywa’s rough cotton blankets are famous throughout Myanmar, and some can even be found sewn up into knapsacks sold to unsuspecting tourists in Bangkok.
Other regional crafts include bamboo and reed products, bullock carts and agricultural implements. In Monywa town, there are busy markets, popular restaurants, a Degree College affiliated to Mandalay University, a Technical High School, and soon there will be an Institute of Economics, the second after the one in Yangon. The major tourist attraction in Monywa is Moenhyin Thanbuday Paya, a Buddhist temple with a huge stupa resembling Indonesia’s Borobudur. It dates from 1303, although it was reconstructed in 1939. It is said to contain over 500,000 images of Buddha
In the Union of Myanmar, where Theravada Buddhism flourishes, yellow robes have been offered to the Lord Buddha in different seasons for many hundreds of years. The robes are known as Waso-thingan, Kahtein-thingan, Matho-thingan, Kyar-thingan and Pantthaku-thingan. ...