Pindaya Cave is a large limestone cavern forming part of the local karst landscape in Shan State, Myanmar. However, the main attraction inside Pindaya cave is not geological. Indeed, the attraction is the 9000 golden Buddha statues found inside. Additionally, they portray many different sizes and styles representing three centuries of Buddhist art dating back to the Kongbaung Era. Visitors will find a Buddha statue inside nearly every nook and cranny.
The village of Pindaya is about 1.5 hours drive north of Heho. Additionally, the attraction is near the world famous Inle Lake near the resort town of Nyaung Shwe. Pindaya to Inle Lake takes about 2 hours and Nyaung Shwe offers some good accommodation. As a result, other local attractions such as Taunggyi and Kalaw are in close proximity. Pindaya sightseeing tours are available, or self tour is the best method if you can manage. Get a taxi in Nyaung Shwe or ride a motorbike as I did….
Scenic Drive to Pindaya Cave
Definitely, one of the coolest aspects of visiting Pindaya Cave is driving through the scenic countryside that lies in between Pindaya and Heho airport. When they are in season, the road passes through immense fields of yellow sesame flowers. The fields support the local bee farmers and their swarms of honey bees who feast on the pollen from the sesame flowers. As a result, visitors can indulge in the local honey along the way.
Arrival in Pindaya
Pindaya Village wraps around the scenic Pindaya Lake below the limestone foothills. Pindaya is surprisingly beautiful with lots of shady trees, tea shops and restaurants. Additionally, green tea is grown locally. If you want to try some – just ask!
Entrance to Pindaya Cave
In ancient times, there was a giant spider that lived inside Pindaya Cave. Tragically, the spider was able to abduct the local princess while she was nearby. Fortunately, a prince came to the rescue and shot the spider with his bow and arrow. Statues of the prince and spider located outside the cave entrance commemorate the local fable.
Before entering the pathway to the cave, visitors need to remove their socks and shoes. Then walk through the covered stairway leading to the cave entrance.
The Inside of Pindaya Cave
Once inside the cave, visitors are inundated with beautiful golden Buddhas of every shape and sort. Additionally, there are large stupas that devotees cover with gold leaf.
Through the cave entrance visitors are led through a maze or pathways. On each side there are Buddhas towering over many alternative routes. Everywhere in between, there are Buddhas, Buddhas and more Buddhas. As a result, visitors are treated to many photo opportunities.
The pathways keep winding for several hundred meters. Eventually, visitors will meander their way down to the lower levels. It is here that there is a more intimate experience with the unique limestone walls of the cave.
Additionally, there are little enclaves which were used by monks as meditation chambers. Stalactites and stalagmites are common features of karst formations which can also be seen inside Pindaya Cave.
Finally, at the end of the path you will reach the cave terminus which is marked with a sign.