Stone caves possibly used for combat against Mongols discovered near Myinsaing ancient city

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Wall paintings at Seiktagote Cave. Photo: Ko Aye Min

At Wasae mountain, which residents called Taungkyun, located near the ancient city of Myinsaing in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region, stone caves believed to have been used in fighting with Mongols long ago were unearthed.
Only some caves are possible to enter, and the rest collapse or are blocked at entry, according to Ko Aye Min, a resident who posted about it on social media.
At Myinsaing, pagodas, temples, and lakes remain in ancient art, and this area is well-known for defending Mongolians by digging caves. Myinsaing-era wall paintings remain inside Shwe Oo Min Cave and Seiktagot Cave on the Shwe Oo Min mountain range.

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War Sae hill and caves. Photo: Ko Aye Min

“The place, which is believed to be the palace wall, is now Kalaykyaung village. The whole village is located inside the palace wall. According to historians, the palace wall naturally looks like a fort due to steep hills. That hill is located at the east of Kalaykyaung village, and caves are dug up the hill. Entries are very narrow, but the inside is vast. Some caves collapsed. As far as I know, there are a total of about 20 caves. Some caves look invisible because you can’t see them even if you are above them. Even residents are lost there. According to hearsay, there are huge snakes inside caves, so people dare not to enter. Most of the caves at Wasae Hill collapsed,” he said.

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Stone base of a collapsed pagoda found at War Sae hill. Photo: Ko Aye Min

Among many reasons that caused caves to collapse, coal mining is included, and the weather is another factor, he said.
“Just 3 out of 10 caves are possible to enter by crouching or crawling. There are caves collapsed from the entire floor. At a cave, a wall painting in Kanote flowers that remain just faint is found,” said Ko Aye Min. — Htet Oo Maung/ZS/ED

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