Pho Win Taung, cave Buddhist sanctuary • Myanmar

In just over 4 minutes, explore Pho Win Taung, a Buddhist cave sanctuary in Myanmar. Discover hundreds of carved caves housing over 4000 Buddha statues, guarded by mischievous monkeys. Dive into this ancient sanctuary, where art and spirituality meet.
00:00 • intro | 00:40 • ancient caves housing Buddha statues | 03:26 • monkeys guarding the place

made with photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

In the vicinity of Moniwa, there are two very different cave sites.

On the one hand, the ancient site of Pho Win Taung (or Po Win Taung) is an ancient Buddhist shrine and a little further, a kind of town cut in the rock is of much more recent construction (see here).

Pho Win Taung

Po Win Taung is a sacred site in Myanmar and has hundreds of caves, some natural and others (the vast majority) have been excavated to make shrines to the glory of Buddha.

Most of these caves were excavated between the 14th and 18th centuries and contain paintings and / or sculptures of Buddha. There would be a total of around 10,000 representations of Buddha in these caves.

The site is not an open-air museum, but a still living place where the faithful continue to come to honor Buddha by burning incense and bringing donations, consisting of baskets of fruit, coconut and bananas quite similar to some paintings dating back over 300 years.

The site deserves better monitoring and maintenance, because it is starting to deteriorate in places. Many factors explain this degradation. In addition to the shameless antiques looters who sometimes come to help themselves, the unsupervised tourists, the thousands of wandering macaques and the atmospheric conditions contribute to the slow agony of these magnificent exceptional troglodyte temples.

about the place, Pho Win Taung:

Located about forty kilometers from Moniwa in Myanmar, the Pho Win Taung site is famous for its excavated temples. Temples carved into the rock are part of Buddhist traditions. Pho Win Taung has around 800 caves carved into the rock and there are nearly 4,000 sculptures. There are also sanctuaries (monasteries, convents and stupas) whose walls are painted.

The excavations of Pho Win Taung date from the beginning of the 17th century.

About a kilometer from these caves, another more recent troglodyte site. Shwe Ba Taung dates from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The influences of this other site are more eclectic, mixing Western architectural styles with the Buddhist tradition of Burma ...


Spoken comments in the film: 

The Pho Win Taung site has several hundred excavated caves which house just over 4,000 Buddha statues. Located about a kilometer from another much more recent troglodyte site (see another film in this series) Pho Win Taung leaves an impression of a much more authentic site. 

The monkeys probably had the same thought because they are found by the hundreds between and on these monuments dating from the 17th century.

excavated temple, Pho Win Taung • Myanmar
excavated buddhist temple, Pho Win Taung • Myanmar

excavated buddhist temple

buddha statue in a niche, Pho Win Taung • Myanmar

buddha statue in a niche

macaque on the troglodyte site, Pho Win Taung • Myanmar

macaque on the troglodyte site

buddhas in niches in excavated shrines, Pho Win Taung • Myanmar

buddhas in niches in excavated shrines

Po Win Taung, Myanmar