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Natural Cave "Mahar Parthana Montawa"
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Good Time To Visit: The Whole Year
Visited: 1924 Time
     One of the Ancient Heritages of Grace of Taunggyi and Aye Tharyar Cities, the Cave Montawa was located in 2 miles far from Southern Taunggyi with Cliff rock-walls that was 6-mile-walk ascending uphill of east Aye Tharyar-Montawa Village road. Montawa Cave Pagoda Background History was a legendary oral well-known but not in accuracy was said. The Cave Montawa appeared millions of years ago as a natural rocky cave, though so many years old, not any damage except bushes and climbers covered were found.
Cave Historical Background

If we talk about Montawa Cave History, we would turn the page back about King Narapati Sithu. In 930, there was a King Narapati Sithu, the Sarsana Donor. He was born on Thursday 8th Waso Waxing Day in 428, and he was crowned as a King in 428. In 457, wandering around by raft, he seemed he reached the whole Shan State wide. King Narapati Sithu rode raft was said a fast vehicle as a plane; some persons even exaggerated if there were mountain, he broke it by his spear, and he passed it. If ashes were stirred with water and thrown away, there appeared water forming Inle Lake; the King's pointed finger made water; hitting cane at water surface he called Water Guardian Fairy, etc. Legendary Imaginations, readers could believe by consideration whether it may be reasonable or not.In most of the history of the Pagodas round Taunggyi, there involved the name of King Narapati Sithu said Montawa Sayartaw U Kawtanya that "Nara" was King. "Pati" was also King, the Excellency.

      "Narapati Sithu", "Mani Sithu" and "A-Laung Sithu" there were nominated. "Mani" was meant to be"Head"; i.e., King, then his name Sithu was added. Sayartaw meant similar names different personals it seems. There remained History of Pagodas built by the King Narapati Sithu such as Naung Inn Pagoda, Montawa Cave, Aung Thapyay Gukyo Pagoda, Swel Taw Monastery, Mway Taw Kakku Pagoda, Myin Mahti Cave (Myin Mahtika Kyan Sithar), Pindaya Cave, Phaung Taw Pauk Pagoda (Aye Tharyar), No Shadow Mway Taw Pagoda, Nyaung Shwe Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda and Htan Sann Cave. (Some name non-expressed Mway Taw Relic Pagodas still left.) While the King arrived there that thick bushy place opaque with trees, peculiar sense he got and asked Prophets. Their foreseen was coming a thousand years, Sarsana Development blooms Region potential that made him tepid, and he build Pagodas was suggested so that Pagodas appeared in Shan State region wide expressed in Literature.

      At that time, the King's raft reached there where water inundated nearly to Industrial Zone that nowadays nominated Phaung Taw Pauk Pagoda; the King built Pagodas in Aye Tharyar was mentioned in the Books. Original Donor of the Pagodas was Thiri Dhammar A-Thawka who built 840 Lakes and wells; he made shrine of Buddha Relics inside the Pagodas so that the nomination "Mway Taw Pagoda" was well-known. In Bagan Era, King Anaw Yahtar renovated them, and the King A-Laung Sithu did again, was mentioned in Palm leaf document, Stone Inscriptions and Histories varied by the King A-Laung Sithu, Mani Sithu, and Narapati Sithu.

Nomination

      If that was so, it could be said the King built the Cave "Montawa" which was already nominated in accord with nature. "Mon" was Pa Oo Ethnicity Language meant to be "Summit"/ "Hill", and "Tawa" to "Cave" in Myanmar Language that was meant to be "Gate". Such kind of dual nomination to Pagodas of 2 Ethnicity-mix aimed to build Friendship and Mutual Trust between 2 Races potential. Mostly nominated in dual way was found such as Pa Oo Language (Htan =Cave), in Myanmar language ( Pagoda). Northern Shan State Baw Kyo Pagoda in Shan (Baw=Father), in Myanmar (Kyo= Welcome) and there were differences too. Brother and sister 2 persons resided Cave was called Siblings Cave (in Myanmar, Maung Hna-mha Cave), later pronounced Montawa Cave it was said. Bro lived Upper and sis. Lived Lower that could be seen of 2 Siblings' traces the Local People said.

      Another different saying was while King Mani Sithu touring around the country in his Era, he arrived to Shan State. He brought Buddha Relics on Elephant to build Pagoda but as the Elephant became wild near the place, angry Elephants were washed and put there at Montawa Cave Waterfall without taking them back, that the mood of the Elephant which lost its temper (that is "Mon" in Myanmar Language) was taken the Vocabulary pronounced to Montawa, it was said too. While it was crowded after the Pagoda Construction but as it was visitor very little, reach-hard, the name was fainted again. Later Shan Saw Bwar, the Ethnicity-Chiefs took a shelter there was said too. From the year 721, potential was the Ruler Nyaung Shwe Ethnicity-Chief Sisai Pha start left their homes and took refuge in the Cave up to 33 Chief Generations till 1289 ruled Chief Saw Shwe Thike due to Civil Wars. In 1247, the whole Myanmar nationwide was ruled by British we could assume. Two old Buddha Images of 11 inch and 9 inch was paid Homage by Dhamma Rest Hall Donor Nyaung Shwe High Official of the Royal Court built it over 70 years ago expressed in record. Moreover inside the Cave, Antique Arts-crafts of year non-estimate able construction was found.

Cave Pattern

       How much deep Montawa and where its end was, could not be estimated by the Experts. As Folk-tales oral, Montawa Cave was adjourned to Pindaya Cave, and it went straight reach to Bagan was said but true or false impossible to confirm. Cave Renovation Group Leader U Thein Lwin and 18 members brought 5-day-Food, torches, and necessities and explored into the Cave took 3 days to go and 2 days to return which road headed to Southeast in the Cave-path with bends they had to take which was 20 miles round they estimated.

      Cave Pattern was narrow in the very start of 10 yards, then became wide again. 30 yards round distance could not be able to walk that they had to move on hands and knees; then beyond a bend, reach able to the large room. Such narrow paths were found many more and small lanes, Cave Gates were so many uncountable was found. The sound of water flows was a spot of a small path to the Iron Bridge Abyss. For the Visitors, the destination was the place of Iron stairs, and when arrival to that spot, return to make and to protect from the Danger of Fall, such prohibition was done said the news. Descending over 100 ft beyond the spot, exciting places such as peculiar ponds as Dragon male and female, waterways for Gold and Silver Fish was found. Bottom of the Cave, breast-high water level for a half-hour-swim Gold Boats, Gold Ships and Golden Pagodas leading to a huge football-ground size hall that was supposed to appear again only when there were a noble Person of Precept (Sila) and Concentration of Mind (Thamardi).

      As the Cave entry went to east, it might reach to Taunggyi City Sonpine Cemetery Bottom round self-guessed. There may be Taunggyi City of 4712 ft above sea level and 1,500 ft above the Cave Montawa of over 3,000 ft high estimated roughly which its height was two third of the Mountain. Internal cave path headed to Southeast, so following to the path it may be potential to reach Pindaya. North of Pindaya adjacent to Yat Sauk Region, Ywar Ngan at west adjorned to Kyauk Tu Thigan Region said Historian U Than Htun. Beyond the Mountain Ranges of East of Aye Tharyar, was Ho Pone Border, Nyaung Shwe at South, Taung Lay Lone Mountain and Myin Mahti Mountain were adjourned.

Current state

       Started from Tawthalin Full Moon Day in 1326, 2 persons U Thein Lwin (Retired Military man) who lived in Kunyi Kone Quarter Taunggyi City and Welding Factory-owner U Ba Kyin led its renovation made Mahar Oarthana Montawa Natural Cave became alive in new Century was found. In 1327 Kason Full Moon Day, there was not only 2 Origin Buddha Stupa but also many Buddha Images of size variety up to 1086 numbers could be paid Homage. Except Buddha Stupas, A-Rahat Images 267 no. was set there. At the Entrance start, 33 Alphabet Wish-fulfill Pagoda of (9 x 18 inch) wide Pagoda was paid Homage.

       A big Rock stairs to step onto the Cave was built only within 52 days, perseverance, diligence, and effort of the two Benevolent were quite to be praised. Furthermore Waterfall column renovation, Road renovation, Land works, Water Reservoirs establishment, Spillway construction were made for good Cave water flows from waterfall. Nat Shrine, Traditional Nat Shrines, and in the middle of the Water Storage reserve, there was located Shin U-Pagotta Image. Half stairs stood a Sitting Buddha Image umbrella by Dragon and also an extension Building under construction worked in 2013 was found. Looking up the Waterfall, imagined Hydro Power could be conducted; Ho pone Htan Hsan Cavewater flows was not good as that but store water could generate 110 watt round was found.

       Such good Natural Cave Montawa should be refreshed and explored again nowadays. The Montawa, Cave of Nature was expressed as the Biggest Natural Cave of Myanmar in the text of Grade 7 Students. If we do not explore and express it, it would be like we are missing the Historical responsibility as well as ignoring Ancient Heritage-in-hand which world people valued that the writer encouraged with good will to do Campaigns for the attention of Local People and responsible persons to Montawa; and Montawa Foundation establishment may work out the conservation the vanishing Antique Heritage in order to development in near future.

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