Po Win Daung Caves
More than 900 man-made caves with perhaps the best preserved 14th – 18th century Buddhist mural paintings in the world are found here at Po Win Daung, some 20 miles of rough road from the Chindwin River town of Monywa, in Sagaing Division, Myanmar. This is believed the largest and most diverse collection of Buddhist figures and murals in southeast Asia. The paintings, called jataka, tell legendary stories from the lives of the Buddhas.
Generally speaking, cave ceilings depict abstract designs while the upper walls show the lives of the Buddhas. Under these we see scenes from the life of Gautama Buddha, and under this the jataka legends. However all is not uniform, the caves show an astonishing variety.
Getting here means getting to Monywa first, (probably from Mandalay) then hiring an all terrain vehicle to handle the road. There are plans to improve access, but this is Burma, and there is no telling when that might happen. So for the time being it is little visited and well worth the effort. From the cave area you can take the back roads to Bagan and see some off the beaten path temples from the 11th and 12th centuries.