Alaungdaw Kathapa pagoda packed with pilgrims for Tabodwe Festival

Pilgrims arrive at the Alaungdaw Kathapa cave shrine at the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park in Kani Township for Tabodwe Festival. Photo: Than Htay Aung (Kani)
Pilgrims arrive at the Alaungdaw Kathapa cave shrine at the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park in Kani Township for Tabodwe Festival. Photo: Than Htay Aung (Kani)

Pilgrims thronged the Alaungdaw Kathapa cave shrine at the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park in Kani Township of Sagaing Region for the Tabodwe Festival.
Hundreds of pilgrims could be seen at the pagoda on 7 February, the day before the full moon day of Tabodwe, and on the night of the full moon on 8 February.
Alaungdaw Kathapa, an enlightened monk, passed away on the Tabodwe full moon day. On 7 February, local visitors flocked to the cave where the remains of Alaungdaw Kathapa have been preserved. “The pilgrims visited the cave. Earlier, only 50-100 pilgrims were seen per day. This time, every guest house was filled with visitors.
The number of pilgrims on the full moon day was estimated at over 7,000-8,000,” said U Aung Ko Lin, chair of the Alaungdaw Pagoda board of trustees.
Every year, the Tabodwe full moon day is the high season of pilgrimage to Alaungdaw Kathapa.
The park is an ASEAN heritage site and aims to preserve the natural forest, ecosystem, and archaeological remains. It is home to elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs, barking deer, jungle goats, mountain goats, bears, wild boars, jungle cats, and many species of birds. However, it is more well-known as a religious site. —Than Htay Aung (Kani)(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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