Pyin Oo Lwin was formely called "Maymyo" after Colonel May of the British Empire. This town was often used as a summer retreat for the British during the colonial era. Located over a thousand meters above sea-level, Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 69km away from Mandalay. It is also well known for its colonial style houses and abundance of trees such as the eucalyptus and silver-oak trees that are abundant in the town.
The Botanical Garden was founded in the year 1915-16 by a British botanist by the name of Mr. Roger. He began collecting local plants and trees to cultivate on 30 acres of land, but his project was officially sanctioned by the government in 1919. Originally, the Botanical Garden was supposed to be built on 170 acres of land and 70 acres of water, totalling a 240 acre garden that uses a steady supply of spring water from the lake nearby to cater the plants.
The Botanical Garden was laid out after the Kew garden in England. However, in 1920 the Forest Department issued a notification which declared that the Botanical Garden was a forest reserve, and it was to be placed under the custody of the Forest department. Today, there are 4840 trees planted in the garden, mostly pine varieties, and 575 different floral species including many exotic fruits, flower and shade trees from abroad that were acclimatized to grow in the Garden. Hundreds of wild orchids from different parts of the country were collected and displayed in the Orchid Green House in the garden.
Pwe Kauk Fall is about 8km from town. It was also called the Hampshire Falls during the colonial days and serves as a pleasant picnic spot.
The Maha Nandamu cave is located 12 miles east of Pyin Oo Lwin, and 3 miles south of the Wetwun village. The cave is located at the entrance of the Peik Chin Myaung ravine, and used to be underwater; however, the water level dropped overtime as limestone piled up and the hillock took formation. Geologists estimate that the cave could be anywhere between 230 million to 310 million years old.
The cave is called Peik Chin Myaung (Peik Chin Plants Ravine) because plenty of Peik Chin plants used to grow there, giving no passage to light. Water usually seeps in through the cave wall, and it is believed that water found in the cave cures eye ailments and itching. Therefore, pilgrims collect this spring water and take it home in bottles. The Great Cave covers an area about 48 acres. The story of Buddha’s struggle for enlightenment is also featured inside the cave, along with several Buddha images and miniature pagodas in every corner.
This pagoda was not planned, it just came to be due to the reason that three marble Buddha figures made in Mandalay were being transported to their planned home in China, but during journey one of the Buddha figures fell from the lorry and could not be put back on the transport due to its weight. After many attempts it was left behind while the other two were taken to China. The Buddha image left behind needed to be moved, but no one knew how to go about this task. So, a local Buddhist monk decided he would try to move it with faith. He sat on the figure for seven and preached the teachings of Buddha to the people. After seven days the figure was, apparently, easily lifted and placed inside the spontaneous Maha Anthtookanthar Paya.
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