Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda – A sacred building that houses five golden Buddha pictures

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is the most revered monastery near Inle Lake. It contains five Buddha statues that date back thousands of years and are fully covered in golf leaves.

From Inle Lake, the pagoda is easily accessible by boat; there is a landing pier in front of the structure. The monastery structure is centered by a golden stupa that is capped with an ornate hti. Murals that tell Buddhist tales are painted on the temple’s inner walls.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Images that date back 800 years

The five more than 800-year-old pictures of the Buddha are preserved on a pedestal in the middle of an elaborate shrine.

The images have been covered in so much gold leaf that they no longer resemble Buddha images and appear to be a solid mass of gold. Buddhist devotees visit the monastery every day to pay their respects to the statues and add more gold leaf, which is only permitted to be done by men.

Alaungsithu, the 12th-century king of the Bagan kingdom, is thought to have introduced the statues to the Inle Lake region. The King was a devoted Buddhist who traveled much throughout his dominion and commissioned the construction of numerous Buddhist monuments across his Kingdom, the most impressive one being the Thatbyinnyu temple in Bagan.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Inle Lake Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Gold Leaf Buddhas

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the biggest Buddhist events in Myanmar, taking place in and around the stilted villages of Inle Lake. The event is held in September and October according to the Western calendar, from the first day of the waxing moon until the third day following the full moon of Thadingyut.

Four of the five venerated Buddha images are carried around the lake for more than 20 days as part of the festivities aboard a lavish, gilded barge propelled by hundreds of rowers in traditional long boats. The odd way the locals hauling the barge row with their legs is meant to increase endurance. Rowing competitions are place throughout the festival, which makes for an amazing visual spectacle.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

A photo at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

At this festival, pilgrims travel from all over the nation to pay respect to the four Buddha images and earn merit while taking in the joyous atmosphere of the occasion. These images have been so heavily covered in gold leaf throughout the years that it is difficult to identify them. While the event is going on, the enigmatic fifth Buddha figure is left to “protect” their original resting place in the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. Be sure to ask your guide what the significance of the fifth image is!

Since the celebration has no set path, the procession’s sequence may vary at the last minute. Your tour guide will take you to the best spots throughout your time in Inle Lake so you may participate in the festivities.

Every year in September and October, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is held from the first day of the waxing moon until the third day after the full moon of Thadingyut (the seventh month of the traditional Burmese calendar). The festivals for this year are listed below, along with their dates, times, and activities. Although they are occasionally subject to change, we’ll make sure you don’t miss anything.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Phaung Daw Oo festival

How to get to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Near the West end of Inle Lake’s bottom is where you may find the pagoda. The quickest means of transportation is a boat. Visit the port and make direct arrangements with the driver, or make one at the hotel or travel agency. Make sure you and the driver can agree on the trip’s cost, length, and rest stops.

Opening hours

The monastery is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm.
It can get very crowded during the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival and significant Buddhist holidays.

Entrance fee

Free entry is offered.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda – A great destination in Myanmar

If you visit Myanmar one day, let’s see Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. It won’t let you down!