Sunday, August 21, 2016

Inle Lake and Phaung Daw U Pagoda Festival

A fisherman on the lake
Surrounded by mountains, villages, and several monasteries, picturesque Inle Lake measures about 10 miles (16 km) in length and about 4 miles (6.4 km) across.

Five days Markets and Artificial Islands
The largest village on Inle Lake is Ywama. Each of its two-storey houses has its own landing dock, and boats are kept at the lake level. Every five days, a “floating market” brings buyers and sellers together in small boats on the lake. The markets sell a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and tobacco. The produce is grown on “islands” made from dredged-up water plants covered with fertile mud and anchored by bamboo stakes to the bottom of the lake. Inle Lake also supports several cottage industries, including weaving, silversmithing, and cheroot (a large, dark cigar with open, untapered ends) rolling. The fishermen of the Inle Lake possess a special skill – they row without using their hands! The fisherman or rower stands on one leg at the back of a sampan (a flat-bottomed boat) and wraps the other leg around an oar, rowing with powerful leg strokes. Standing up, the rower can see and steer through the lake’s tangle of water hyacinths and weeds. This style of rowing also frees the fisherman’s hands for throwing his nets out across the water.

The Phaung Daw Oo Festival
Inle Phaung Daw U pagoda festival is held traditionally in the Myanmar month of Thadinkyut (October-November) related to regional and pagoda festivals. Buddhist of Innthar who lived in Inle Lake, Shan State celebrate the festival of Four Buddha Golden Images. The Four Buddha Golden Images are transferred by a Karaweik – Royal barge from original place to twenty-one villages of Inle Lake region. They transferred it by their traditional boats with a unique leg-rowing. So, these activities were named Inle Phaung Daw U pagoda festival in memory of the place and the carrier.
The background history of Phaung Daw U pagoda was related by the King Alongsitthu (AD 1124-1167), great grandson of Anawrahta of Bagan dynasty. During the travel of Alongsithu around the country by boat in 1120 AD, his majesty was ordered to build the five Buddha images to this part of Mahagama village and then the images were moved to Nammu village Yadanarsan monastery nowadays.
Working ladies @ their floating farm

A farmhouse and floating farms

A monastery on the lake

A view of a village road

Ballooning over Inle Lake

The unique beauty of the traditional fishermen

The artificial islands

Teak houses on the lake

A leg rowing lady

Collecting weeds and water hyacinths for their artificial islands

The way of  fishing

Lotus weaving factory

Market Day

Bamboo stilts on the lake
The unique beauty of Inthar with their traditional fishing basket

Two farmers

Way back home after their daily work

Working in their artificial islands

The Royal Barge used during the Phaung Daw U Pagoda festival

Boat racing during the Phaung Daw U Pagoda festival

Boat racing during the festival
Relaxing on boat

Boat riding on the lake

A Pa O lady wearing Thanakhar, (Myanmar traditional make-up) and selling at the market
Pa O ladies at the Indein Ruin Pagoda Forest, located at the west bank of the lake
Sakkar, ancient ruin is located at the south of Inle lake