Pay homage to the Buddha’s footprints, cool ourselves in Mann Creek in Minbu

Photo shows Mann Shwe Settaw in Minbu during the pagoda’s festival in 2015.
Photo shows Mann Shwe Settaw in Minbu during the pagoda’s festival in 2015.

With a record number of pilgrims across the country, Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda festival was opened in Minbu yesterday.
The festival is one of the most significant pagoda festivals in Myanmar and lasts more than two months.
“We have two reasons why we visit the festival. The first one is to pay homage to the footprints of the Buddha. The second is to go on a vacation, enjoying natural environment there,” said U Tin Win from Yangon, who had visited the festival several times.
“In fact, visit to the festival is not just for pilgrimage but also for taking bath in the Mann Creek passing through the two locations of Buddha’s footprints, flowing into the Ayeyawady River,” he added.
Due to its unspoiled forests, mountains and the creek at the area, the Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda is considered the oasis of upper Myanmar.
The festival also attracts families throughout the country when the matriculation examination finished in mid-March.
Meanwhile, foreign travelers listed the pagoda in their travel choices along with centuries-old monasteries and pagodas in Minbu and Sagu located in the same district.
“Among foreign tourists to Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda, Cambodians topped the list. They made group visits every year,” said U Kyaw Sein Win, a member of the Pagoda Board of Trustees.
Just around 200 foreign travelers visited the pagoda last year, he added.
During their visit to Mann Shwe Sattaw pagoda, foreigners can visit a sanctuary for golden deer and star tortoise both are endangered species.
The festival has also offered local products like dried bamboo shoots, mushroom and handmade products to local visitors.
Mann Shwe Settaw (The Golden Footprints) pagoda is one of the most venerated pagodas in Myanmar. There are two foot prints namely the Auk Set Taw Ya or the Lower and the Ahtet Set Taw Ya, the Upper.
The pagoda history tells us that in the 12th year after Lord Buddha attained his Enlightenment, He came to this area with a retinue of 500 followers.
“There is no inconvenience for the visitors, including insufficient accommodation during days when the festival is crowded,” U Kyaw Sein Win said.

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