Indein is one of the small villages of Inle Lake located on the western bank of the lake. A Buddha image has enshrined at a whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. The village is reached by boat through the Inn Thein creek, a long narrow canal. The scenic 8 kilometer boat ride from Inle Lake can be made in the rainy season and winter only, in the summer season the water level is too low. Indein is a small village West of Inle lake, known for its market and two groups of ancient pagoda’s. The village is best known for its many ancient pagoda’s in many shapes and sizes and in various states of preservation. While some have been restored, others are in their original crumbling state.
The village is reached by boat through the Inn Thein creek, a long narrow canal. The scenic 8 kilometer boat ride from Inle Lake can be made in the rainy season and winter only, in the summer season the water level is too low.
Below the stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupas most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet and calm. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet rings of the bells hanging at the umbrella of the stupa. Mesmerizing view from pagoda hill releases the fatigue and refreshes everybody who ascends to the peak.
Indein is one of the villages that host the Inle “5 day market”, the market that is held in a five day rotating cycle in five villages around the lake. The Pa-Oh people who live in the surrounding hills sell their crops here.
This mysterious place is at the end of the marvellous Indein creek, which connected with Inle Lake just after the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns. Since the both sides are paddy fields you can see the farmers ploughing and harrowing by water buffaloes. At the lunch time while groups of farmers having lunch the water buffaloes enjoy themselves dipping in the creek.
At many places in the creek the farmers dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the paddy fields. Indein water is not only useful for irrigation also for bathing and washing clothes. It is compulsory to see Novice monks, buffalo boys and village girls wash and swim in the creek.
Indein seemed like a quaint little village where the locals seemed to be quite busy going about their day. Some were fishing in the river and some were loading up ox carts with dirt in preparation for some construction project. Kids were playing soccer.
PLACE OF INTEREST
Opening hours of the Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein pagoda sites is 8 am until 6 pm.
Nyaung Ohak pagoda’s
Around Indein village are two groups of ancient pagoda’s, Nyaung Ohak and Shwe Inn Thein. The first site near the boat landing is Nyaung Ohak, which translates to “group of banyan trees”. Most of the pagoda’s here have not been restored and are in various states of repair; some are well preserved, while others have plants and trees growing out of them. Many pagoda’s are decorated with sculptings of celestial beings or mythological animals as Naga serpents and Chinthe’s. Some enshrine images of the Buddha.
Shwe Inn Thein pagoda’s
From Nyaung Ohak a climb leads to the second group of pagoda’s named Shwe Inn Thein located on top of a hill. A 700 meter covered walkway leads up to the pagoda’s. The walkway is lined with stalls where vendors sell Shan shoulder bags, longyis, shirts and other items.
The site is believed to date back to the days of the Indian emperor Ashoka, who sent out monks in the 3rd century BC across Asia to spread Buddhism. Centuries later two Kings of the Bagan empire, Narapatisithu and Anawrahta built pagoda’s at the site. The site contains hundreds of pagoda’s, collectively known as the Shwe Inn Thein pagoda’s. Most are from the 17th and 18th century; the earliest one with an inscription dates to the 14th century.
The hti, a top element shaped like an ornamental umbrella is missing at many of the unrestored stupa’s. A number of stupa’s have been restored by donors, both Burmese and foreign.
At the center of the Shwe Inn Thein group is the shrine of the Inn Thein Buddha image. The shrine that is believed to have been built by King Ashoka houses a golden Buddha image in the meditation mudra. From the top of the hill visitors have great views of Indein village and the surrounding area.