Pho Win Taung is complex of over 900 caves many of which are elaborately decorated with paintings and statues of the Lord Buddha. This attraction is also famous for the large number of monkeys who congregate around the openings to the more popular caves and almost as large a number of local vendors selling food for the monkeys.
About Pho Win Taung
Pho Win Taung is a vast eclectic maze of caves strewn with monkey droppings and also litter. This attraction is also some way off the beaten track which visitors need make some effort to visit, often at the same time as going to the nearby Shwe Ba Taung, which is in many respects a man made homage to caves at Pho Win Taung. The history of the use of the caves as places of worship is not known for certain. The practice may have begun as early as the 9th Century, although most of the decorations and statues have been dated from the 14th Century onward, some appearing to have been created in the 20th Century.
The caves at Pho Win Taung are believed to contain over 400,000 images, mostly of the Lord Buddha, although the accuracy of the count is questionable and different sources give different numbers. The style and artistry of the paintings and statues varies a lot. Some are fantastic, others less so. This in itself add something to the overall ambience of the site. In a way this cave complex is a form of street art by the faithful, with each devotee adding their own mark on this unique religious site. The absence of a central plan is both anarchic and refreshing. This is a religious complex for the people made by the people, which is interesting to visit although somewhat neglected given its importance as one of Myanmar’s national treasures.
Location of Pho Win Taung
- Pho Win Taung is 174 km by road from Mandalay Railway Station.
Travel to Pho Win Taung
Pho Win Taung is located to the West of Mandalay near Monywa. For travel from Mandalay to Monywa you can use local bus services or taxis. Follow the links below for information about travel to Mandalay:
- See travel times from Yangon to Mandalay
- See travel times from Naypyitaw to Mandalay
- See travel from Bagan to Mandalay
- See travel times from Inle Lake to Mandalay
- See travel times from Mawlamyine to Mandalay
- See travel times from Magway to Mandalay