Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Sounds like a bit of a tautology, doesn't it? I suppose Burmese tourists can browse these chambers and feel that the ol' junta's shenanigans feel comparatively light-hearted; the rest of us can admire the craftsmanship and twisted imagination of artists that created this monument! Big thanks for all the beautiful photos to Peri Beller, the photographer; pictures were donated to Asiahell blog by her fellow traveler (in Burma and life!) MATS?! (whose blog you absolutely MUST check out, if only to snag some of those excellent Burma T-shirts before they're gone!!!)

Alright, so here are some technical details:

Reclining Buddha - Win Sein Taw Ya

The largest reclining Buddha image in the world, Win Sein Taw Ya, is situated about 20 km south of Mawlamyine on the main road to Mudon. It can be clearly seen for miles as you leave Mudon for Mawlamyine on the right side of the road in amongst the hills almost directly opposite the hill top Buddhist shrine of Kyauktalon Taung. The reclining Buddha is 180 meters in length, and 30 meters in height. Inside there are numerous rooms with dioramas of the teachings of Buddhism, similar to Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Gardens) of Singapore. There is also a Buddhist shrine in one of the rooms, and being a place of worhship, you should remove your shoes or slippers before entering the premises. Construction is expected to be completed in 2008, however, the site is currently open to the public and attracts many visitors throughout the day. Be aware however, that it is still a construction site so your decision to enter the reclining Buddha is done at your own risk.Getting there: The entrance to the reclining Buddha image is located about 100 meters south of the Hindu temple on Yadana Taung on the left hand side of the Mawlamyine-Mudon road as you head towards Mudon. You'll see a school on the corner of the road that leads to the the Buddha image as well as statues of 100 monks standing in single file with alms bowl in hand. It's a convenient stopover if you're heading to Kyaikkami, Setse beach, the Death Railway museum or the Htaukkyant War Cemetry in Thanbyuzayat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a great article, at least half of which fits our theme:

Monday, March 29, 2010


For more info on Kertha Gosa:

Here is a brief description from the booklet puchased at the tourist kiosk at the entrance:

Kertha Gosa


Kertha Gosa was a building/place for solving problems concerning security, prosperity, and justice of the Kingdom of Bali. It was not known exactly who was the founder, but according to CANDRA SENGKALA* carved at Pemedal Agung (main door palace) it had been in existence in the year Cake, Cakra Yuyu, Paksi Poki,which means the year Cake 1622 or around the year 1700 A.D, When Dews Agung Jambe governed the Kingdom of Klungkung. *) CANDRA SENGKALA : Is a way of writing the year by using pictures of animals or plants which represent certain figures. B. FUNCTIONS AND CONTENTS. During the era of the Kingdom of Bali, every year on "Pumamaning Kapat" i.e. on full moon of the fourth month of the Balinese calendar; a meeting was held at Kertha Gosa attended by the regional kings throughout Bali, where the high king of Klungkung gave his direction and decision concerning problem in accordance with the needs and the situation of the Kingdom of Bali.Every month on "Buda Kliwon" or special Wednesday, the high king of Klungkung held a meeting attended by "Manca" ( assistance of the king ) in the regency of Klungklung. And besides Kertha Gosa was also used for receiving Priests and priest of the King ( Bagawanta ) for having lunch, and also for receiving foreigners who wished to meet the King.

On April 28, 1908 Dutch's soldiers cam to Klungkung to conquer the King of Klungkung. But the King and his people gave massive resistance to Dutch's soldiers, and bloodshed could not be avoided. The people of Klungkung and his king gave the last resistance

( Puputan ) to Dutch's soldiers and at last Klungkung was ruled by the Dutch.

Since then Kertha Gosa functioned as a court of justice, that solved the problem concerning customs, also acted against the usual religious practises. The court was equipped with one table and six chairs. The chair with the simbol of lion was for the King as chief of court of justice. The chair with the simbol of cow was for the priest as a lawyer and adviser of the King in making decision. The chair with the simbol of dragon was for the secretary.

The people being tried sat politely cross leg on the floor. Some times also called" Kontrolir" (a Dutch officer who controls the region ) was present at the court when there was a very special trial.

There are five statues, three of which were made by Chinese sculptor and the other two were made. by Pe­anda Gede Kereta a Balinese priest from the village of Dawan. On the ceiling there are pictures of WA­YAN G ( Balinese shadow play ). These pictures show:

1. The lowest part is about "TANTRI KANDAKA" which describes about all kinds of cheating found in society.

2. The second and the third part is about "ATMA PRESANGSA" which describes about the punish­ment and sufferings of the souls of the dead. Bima Sena saw all these on his way to find his parent souls. The story of the punishment of the souls is known as the Law of Karma.

3. The fourth part is a story of "SANG GARUDA AMERTA" a mithical bird in the form of a big eagle which is looking for the water of eternal life. This story is taken From Adiparwa.

4. The fifth part is a story about "PELELINDON" ( Earth-Quake ). Earth quake could forecast what might or might not:: the world in the near future.

5. The sixth and seventh part, Bima Sena met God in heaven. He was fighting to rescue his father's and mother's souls from punishment.

6. The eighth part is about "SORGA ROH" a special place in heaven which is provided for the souls of those who faithfully follow the teaching of their religion or for those who have done many good deeds in life.

7. The ninth part is the story of God who guard the equilibrium of the world.

Buta Mundar and Buta Mandir are sawing the
souls those who sinned against their parents

The souls of those who in life had no child
are being hung on bamboo trees

The souls of mothers who purposely aborted
because of obseenity in life are seen here walking a long a weak bamboo bridge which is being shaken by their former fetus. Buta Jering is throwing stone to them and Buta Mracu is ready to cut them with his sword.

The souls of mothers who refused to nurse their babies are nursing a big caterpillar.

Stone reliefs are from cemeteries at Singaraja and Sangsit.