Ancient Pagodas of Kekku

Photo - my magical myanmar

Until the mid 1990s the remote area inhabited by the Pa-Oh race has been inaccessible to the outsider. Few people even of Taunggyi, the nearest big town had been there though many had heard of a complex of thousands of pagodas hidden deep in the countryside.

Two hours’ drive from Taunggyi and turning into a valley, you suddenly come upon this wonderful sight of thousands of small pagodas clustered around a bigger pagoda on a rise. The architecture of the pagodas looks like they are from the 16th Century. The legends told by the Pa-Oh say the number of the pagodas is 7622. They are almost all carved out of rock, in floral designs or figures of celestials, ogres or bird-men.

For centuries this pagoda complex has been the personal, intimate place of worship for the Pa-Oh people. Every year in March, they hold a pagoda festival and the place transforms entirely becoming packed with tens of thousands of devotees arriving by foot, boat or cart from all over the region.

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