Top choice in Sagaing

At the foot of the great temple-studded hills of Sagaing, you’ll find this little-visited cave monastery. Supposedly built around the 1670s, Tilawkaguru is filled with some of the most impressive preserved cave paintings in the country. Vivid frescoes depict the life (and past lives) of the Buddha, animals, warriors, battles, merchants, courtesans, kings, peasants and vivid menageries of mythological creatures. Finding the keyholder can be challenging.

While visiting is free, it's nice to give the keyholder a few thousand kyats as a tip.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sagaing attractions

1. Soon U Pon Nya Shin Paya

0.18 MILES

This ‘early offering shrine’ is the most important of the temples on Sagaing Hill’s southern crown and the first you’ll come to on climbing the One Lion…

2. U Min Thonze Caves

0.28 MILES

Around a 10-minute walk south of Soon U Pon Nya Shin, U Min Thonze Caves (literally '30 Caves') is a temple complex famed for its crescent-shaped…

3. Sitagu Buddhist Academy

0.32 MILES

Set up in 1994 to educate the brightest young monks, this academy is a major intellectual centre for Theravada Buddhism. The centrepiece is a Sanchi-style…

4. Shin Pin Nan Kain

0.66 MILES

Shin Pin Nan Kain's brass-clad stupa sits on a hilltop that's lower than Sagaing Hill, but has even better panoramas.

6. Thakya Dita Nunnery

0.72 MILES

This modern nunnery has a 16.5ft gilded woven-cane buddha figure in an air-conditioned glass chamber. Respectful guests are warmly welcomed.

7. Shwezigon

0.91 MILES

This small pagoda offers nice views over the countryside.

8. Aung San Statue

1.19 MILES

This gilded statue of Aung San in army uniform surveys a busy road junction.