Association Of Myanmar Archaeologists

Myanmar Archaeology Students Blog

Salay Yokesone Kyaung

During the Bagan Late Bagan era, specifically the late 12th and 13th centuries, Salay developed as the expanding spiral of Bagan’s influence moved southward along the Ayeyarwady River. Today’s Salay is much more of a religious centre than Bagan, with many more working monasteries than found in Bagan today. Among the Myanmar it’s most famous as the historic home of Salay U Ponya, a Yadanabon-era writer/poet whose works are read by high school and college students all over the country. A trip to Salay is warranted for anyone who develops a passion for Bagan style architecture.


Yokesone kyaung lies on the other side of the main road from Kyauk Padaung. The hall sports a new corrugated metal roof to protect the carved wooden structures below from rain or stray sparks from cooking fires. Only two sides of the 23-meter-long hall actually bear the original 120-year-old sculptures, which include nearly three-dimensional carvings of 19th century court life, jatakas (stories from the Buddha’s life) and other tales. Some panels are missing and there are some newer wood carvings mixed in with the old, but those that remain are lovingly cared for by the monks and caretakers, who apply oil regularly to prevent cracking.

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Salay is about 120km from Bagan to the south. Kyauk Padaung and Chauk are the towns on the way to Salay from Bagan. It is a day-trip from Bagan.


One response to “Salay Yokesone Kyaung

  1. Dr. Shwe Lu Maung November 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Being the birth place of Salay U Punya, one my favorite poets and a wiseman, Salay rigthly deserves a place in Myanmar archaelogical recognition and archives. I visited Salay some time in 1969. At that time I had a dream of settling down in one of these historic small villages or towns along ayeyarwadi river. I must admit I miss the poetic beauty of Salay and area.

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