Worship Experience to Upakut Buddha (Pra Bua Khem) at the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Regarding to an Irrawaddy River in Myanmar is now becoming more popular in tourism. As because of a variety of natural resources and remains a very fertile. Furthermore, there are many ancient monuments still remain and contain a very fantastic in architecture which created by Burmese skilled craftsmen. Most pagodas were decorated with precious gems and gold. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function or full of history which related to the Lord Buddha and Myanmar Dynasties. Thus, the Phaung Daw Oo Temple or the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is also be one of the most famous pagoda which popular for both Burmese and foreigners. Moreover, the pagoda itself has a long history.

The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda or Phaung Daw Oo Temple is located in Taunggyi; North of Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar. As it was the lower area, so they built-up the temple on newly reclaimed land by Intha people and Tai Yai people who show great faith in Buddhist and they wish to build up the temple to stay together on Inle Lake. When viewed from the Lake to see the temple area stands out because the temple roof in very high. Inside the pagoda, there is a story about religion. At the center of the hall, there is the stage and It contains five small images of the Buddha covered with golden leaves. The Inthas and other ethnic groups pay highly respect to the Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda and now many people from many countries in the world come and pay homage for the prosperity of life.

The five small of the Buddha images were called Upakut Buddha (Pra Bua Khem). The small Buddha images are carved from Bodhi Tree wooden and have been covered with gold leaf. The posture of the small Buddha images are to low his head which the head is covered with lotus leaves. The base is decorated with shells, crab, fish and also sit the lotus flowers which the first one is turn upside down and the other one is turn over. Moreover, there are 9 pins which are small raised points on the body. The Buddha images have been covered with so many gold leaves from the devotees for more than 100 years and this make all five small Buddha images completely lost their shape and it is impossible to see their original structure. According to the history, In King Alaungsithu brought all five Buddha images back from Malay Peninsula and keep them at the cape near Inle Lake. Then, 100 years later, Inthas people found them all and brought to the Phaung Daw Oo Temple. Later, the Phaung Daw Oo Temple is famous among locals as well as tourists visiting Inle Lake and they come to worship to Pra Bua Khem for bring any good luck to them.

Another interesting for come explore the Phaung Daw Oo Temple is Phaung Daw Oo Festival which is the most important religious festival in Inle Lake. The pagoda usually set in October, depending on Myanmar calendar and it is a grand event of Intha. Pra Bua Khem (Five small Buddha images) were carried on the royal Karaweik barge as Karaweik is a royal bird in Myanmar legend. The royal barge is pulled by large Inle traditional boats and followed by hundreds of other boats which take part in the grand procession. The boats were manned by Intha boat rowers who row by their foot. The event will take around 15 days, pass ten large villages and visit 15 temples around the Inle lake for people to celebrate, worship and make a merit. There are boat races on the lake during the festival. So, this festival is attraction to many tourists both Myanmar people and foreigners to visit and celebrate.