Mya Kyauk Monastery – Mandalay is located on the outer east side of Mandalay city at the base of Yankin Hill, in the township of Patheingyi.This monastery is also known as “Emerald Stone Pagoda”. It is one of many pagodas and monasteries surrounding Mandalay Hill and relatively new as it stands today.
The original monastery was started by King Mindon who ruled Burma from 1853 to 1878 but was never completed. His son and successor, King Thibaw, the last king of the Konbaung Dynasty, born Maung Pu also did not complete the building of the monastery.
In 1998 in a dream a spirit came to Rev. Ba DanTa Khay Mar Sar Ya, he was told to dig a water well in a specific spot. The digging of this well commenced in 1998. On the 2nd September of the same year and after a layer of rock of up to 117 feet thick was penetrated the water source was found. The water layer is thought to around 40 feet in depth.
Mya Kyauk monastery has become famous for its underground naturally pure spring water, which is purported have medicinal qualities, curing a variety of ailments such as diabetes and gout. According to various laboratories tests in Myanmar and internationally it was found that the water was naturally purified and that it is a rarity to find such pure water. It is also known for its large iconic stupa made from Brass.
In September 2015 over 10,000 monks attended the first Myanmar-Thai Buddhist friendship service at the Mya Kyauk monastery. The events marked the joining of Thailand’s Dhamma Karya monastery with Mya Kyauk monastery. Again in January 2018 a ceremony offering donations to 20,000 monks was held to develop good relations between Myanmar and Thailand.
About Nearby Yankin Hill
Yankin Hill signifies “away from danger”, and also demonstrates the harmony and tranquility of Mandalay. There are numerous engraved figures of fish in the hill caves nearby which were placed there by Min Shin Saw, the child of King Alaung Sithu (1090 – 1167CE) and his consort Queen Yadanabon during the Bagan Era between 1112-1167CE.
The original fish figures were believed to have been moved and housed in the the Royal Palace during the Yadnarabon period, but due to superstitions held by the people they were moved back to Yankin Hill. Many people consider the figures of fish a sign of oncoming rain, so whenever there was a drought, they would parade the figures around the city praying for rain. The Mya Kyauk tube well is located close to the Yankin Hill and guests can likewise praise the Atula Maha Mya Kyauk Pagoda.
According to history there were two rain calling rites performed by Myanmar kings and their people since the Bagan dynasty. First was the propitiation of Nat-Spirit “Moe Khaung Kyaw Swa” by holding a tug of war to invoke and request him to release rain clouds. The second was the propitiation of Nga Yant Min Fish idol by washing or sprinkling it with clear scented water and chanting Nga Yant Min paritta to bring down rain.
This rite was originated by Prince Min Shin Saw of Bagan dynasty who founded a new town at Htun ton pu-tet, today called Bo tet kon, near Yankin hill east of Mandalay palace city. After performing the rites it rained heavily. The prince was advised by the monks to place the Nga Yant Min idol in a natural pond formed by springs in the mouth of a big cave on the summit of Yankin hill. King Mindon promoted these two rain calling rites. Till today Mandalay people hold these rites when there is scarcity of rain and they believe rain does come.