The Alaungdaw Kathapa Pagoda in Monywa District will be reopened in the last week of February 2021, according to the pagoda board of trustees.
“The opening ceremony of Shin Maha Kathapa road was held on a grand scale in previous years. How-ever, we will not hold the ceremony on a grand scale this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Monks from the township Sangha Nayaka will go up to the Sankyaungdaw while reciting paritta along the road on the mountain. When the monks arrive at the Sankyaungdaw, we will open the iron mesh covering of the image of the arahat and consecration ceremony will be held. Members of the pagoda board of trustees will take the five precepts then,” said Chairman U Aung Ko Lin of the pagoda board of trustees.
The ceremony is scheduled to be held on 23 February and the road is being repaired. Pilgrims will be required to follow social distancing rules by designating places for paying homage. Staff of the pagoda board of trustees will distribute masks and hand gel to pilgrims. Places to wash hands will also be arranged at various places.
Alaungdaw Kathapa Pagoda in Monywa District is one of the many famous pagodas in Myanmar. The pagoda is located at a remote place in a deep jungle about 60 miles northwest of Monywa. The pagoda can be reached from Moywa or Kanni by car.
The pilgrimage season lasts four months a year. Between 500 to 2,000 pilgrims who spend many nights visit the pagoda every day. The pilgrimage season usually starts in January but the opening ceremony had to be postponed until February due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The Myanmar Police Force, the health department, the fire brigade and township authorities will cooperate with the pagoda board of trustees for the convenience of pilgrims.
Wun Yan Kha