Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery – A Humble Gem of Nyaung Shwe
13 Jun 2019 by Admin
On your trip to Inle Lake in the southern region of Shan State, it is recommended that you drop by the nearby Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery on the way to Heho Airport. Situated approximately 2.4 kilometers north of Nyaung Shwe, Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is a beautiful architecture dated back to the 19th century. Regarding its unique features, tourists should not miss the chance to admire this small but elegant monastery.
What Makes Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery Special?
The Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is famous for architecture built from teak and painted red. The monastery possesses sophisticatedly carved structures on laminated gold teak wood as well as elegant statues and complicated embellishment. The ceiling of Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is decorated with gorgeous carvings and gold leaves.
The monastery was built from teakwood and painted red
The 150 - year - old monastery is a gem of Burmese architecture reflecting the art of constructing religious buildings in feudal period. Teak wood, which is widely used in many monasteries in Myanmar, is the main material for the construction of Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. The sturdy stilts and many other parts of the building are made entirely of teak wood.
This monastery is the precious gem of Myanmar
One of the outstanding features that you can easily notice at the monastery is its extraordinarily large oval windows (with the size of doors) which form part of the Ordination Hall (or Thein in Burmese).This is an iconic structure that can rarely be found in Myanmar. The hems of the windows are decorated with simple but artistic reliefs and carvings.
They were built to give home for boys who have poor situation in the region and eventually become novice monks after they live here. This is the reason why Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery does not bear the spirit of royal architecture like many other monasteries and pagodas in Myanmar.
The iconic oval windows of the monastery
Though it is built for an ordinary purpose, its architectural uniqueness of Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery can be comparable to any noble building.
What to Explore When in Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery?
Visiting Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, you can have the chance to contact with the novice monks living here and have a look at their living space. The young monks live in a dormitory which occupies half the area of the monastery building. You can observe the tranquil life of the monk here, watch them have meals, take bath and wash clothes together.
The novice monks are reading books in a dormitory
Although the building is relatively old, its structure is still very stable thank to teak wood material. When entering the monastery, you should take off your footwear, then you can have a walk around. Despite the huge window, the interior is quite cool and dark. The Ordination Hall is adorned with Buddha statues, mosaics, mirrors and elegant carvings, some decorated with laminated gold. On the sides are rooms where the old abbot teaches the novice monks. You can also explore other buildings in the complex including the monastery kitchen and dining area.
Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery
You can have a look at a shrine next to the monastery where contains hundreds of Buddha statues in red robes placed in niches along the walls of the corridors. Lighted with numerous candles, the shrine offers a holy atmosphere for meditation activity of the monks.
The shrine is a holy place next to the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery
The oval artistic windows are the ideal for capturing pictures of the monastery. You can easily catch novice monk reading books on the edges of the windows.
Because this is a living monastery, you should dress modestly with your legs and shoulders covered and lower your voice.
You can pay a visit to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastey by many ways but coming there by private car, bikee or waking are much better. If you pay a visit to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery by taxi from Nyaung Shwe, you should ask the taxi driver to wait for you as it is very difficult to find a taxi back to your hotel.
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