Kakku Pagodas Complex – Relics of a Legend

Located in Shan State, about 30 miles from Taunggyi, Kakku Pagoda Complex is one of the largest and most spectacular ancient monuments in Asia. The complex contains thousands of pagodas and temples constructed in the 16th century. It is truly a must-see tourist destination in your Inle lake travel.

Kakku Pagodas

History of Kakku Pagodas

There are two legends of Kakku pagodas, one is in 3th century BC under the influence of King Ashoka of the Indian Empire, and the other relates to the region of the King Alaung Sithu in 11th century.

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According to the first tradition, King Ashoka propagated the Buddhism throughout the Indian Empire. In order to popularize this religion, many marvelous works related to his name were constructed in this period. It is said that there were 84,000 wells, 84,000 ponds, and 84,000 pagodas built in his dynasty.

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The second story concerns King Alaung Sithu who gained many achievements in developing the country and propagating Buddhism to Myanmar. There are a huge number of pagodas built in this time, some on the river banks, some on the hills, others on the plains. The Kakku was thought to be built in one of his royal tours to Shan State and was also one of the largest religious structures in the country.

Kakku Pagodas Complex Was Built in a Unique Architecture

There are two main styles of architecture in the complex of Kakku pagodas. The first one is known as “Yun” which was donated by the major Shan ethnic group named Yun. At the eastern sector of the cluster are the largest pagodas designed in this unique architecture such as Ashoka pagoda, Shwewet Ku pagoda, and Kakku relic pagoda.

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The second style followed Burmesestructure which was built under King Anawratha Dynasty. King Alaung Sithu also mde a great contribution to these works by constructing numerous pagodas during his royal travels. The Bagan pagodas in the western sector are his outstanding religious works in Shan State.

Kakku Pagodas Festival

Kakku pagodas festival is usually held during March, the full moon days of Tabaung. The festival takes placein 9 days with various activities such as traditional dancing, enjoying local food or paying homage to the pagodas.

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How to Get to the Kakku Pagodas

Located in the hills south east of Inle Lake, the complex can be approached by car. It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to get there from Taunggyi and about 2.5 to 3 hours from the west of the lake. For those who are adventure lovers, an interesting trek through thescenic hills can be an ideal journey with the duration of 5 to 7 hours.

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Entrance fee & opening hours of Kakku Pagodas

To visit the complex, it is necessary to hire a local guide in Taunggyi town with a fee of US$ 5, and US$ 3 per person forentrance ticket.

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