.....Kachin State is the northernmost state of Myanmar. It is bordered by China to the north and east;
Shan State to the south; and Sagaing Division and India to the west. It lies between north latitude 23? 27' and 28? 25' longitude 96? 0' and 98?
44' . The area of Kachin State is 34,379 sq. miles. The capital of the state is Myitkyina. Other important towns include Bhamo.
Kachin State has Myanmars highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi, at 5889 meters in height, forming the southern tip of the Himalayas, and Myanmars largest
lake, Indawgyi Lake. Hkakabo Razi is Southeast Asia's highest mountain, located in the northern Myanmar state of Kachin. The peak is enclosed within
Hkakabo Razi National Park.
It is entirely mountainous and is characterized by broad-leaved evergreen rain forest, a sub-tropical temperate zone from 8,000 ft. to 9,000 ft.
Indawgyi Lake is the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia. It is located in Mohnyin Township in the Kachin State of Myanmar.
The lake measures 8 miles east to west, and 15 miles north to south. There are over 20 villages around the lake. The predominant ethnic groups living
in the surroundings of the lake are the Shan and the Kachin, who mainly practise agriculture.
.....Officially called Yadana Labamuni Hsu-taungpye Paya, this Myanmar pagoda is generally known by another name: Hmwe Paya, or the "Snake Pagoda."
This out-of-the-way pagoda near Mandalay is distinguished by the large pythons who live happily coiled around the Buddha statue within.
The temple was founded in 1974 when a Buddhist monk was tending the old pagoda. Inside, the monk found two large pythons wrapped around a statue of
Buddha. The monk dutifully carried the snakes out to the jungle and returned to clean the pagoda. Within a day the snakes were back, and a third had
joined. Each time, the monks would carry the snakes out to the jungle, and each time they would return. Eventually the monks came to see the snakes as
holy, possibly the reincarnated souls of monks who used to tend to the pagoda. The monks stopped removing the snakes and instead began taking care of
They take such nice care of them, in fact, that it makes sense that the snakes like to hang around the pagoda. The two pythons currently in residence
are fed a pot of milk and three eggs every five days as well as a small amount of goat meat. Every morning at 11:00 a.m., the snakes are lovingly
washed by the monks in a bath filled with flower petals. They are sometimes even dried with money left as an offering at the pagoda.
Each year, thousands of the faithful make a pilgrimage to the temple, and the walls of the pagoda are lined with photos of families visiting the
semi-holy serpents. Some depict toddlers happily bathing alongside the snakes. They snakes have never been know to injure anyone and seem quite happy
to be touched by the visitors.
Though the original pythons have died, new snakes have since been donated by faithful followers. The original snakes can still be seen in the pagoda,
albeit in a taxidermied state. Considering the level of care the snakes receive, the snakes no doubt lived a long and happy life.