Sagaing Hills have numerous pagodas, monasteries and meditation centers which are known as a peaceful place for Buddhist studies. People can enjoy the magnificent views over Sagaing in here. Nowadays, with about 70,000 inhabitants, the city becomes one part of Mandalay built-up area with more than 1,022,000 inhabitants, estimated in 2011. Sagaing is a common tourist destination of trippers in a day.
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region in Myanmar. Being located on the Ayeyarwady River, around 20 kilometres to the southwest part of Mandalay and lays on the opposite bank of the river. Sagaing, with numerous Buddhist monasteries, is an important religious and monastic center in Myanmar. Those pagodas and monasteries have occupied the numerous hills along the ridge running parallel to the river. The central pagoda, Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, is connected by a set of covered staircases that run up the 240 m hill.
In ancient time, from 1315 to 1364, Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom which was one of the minor kingdoms rising up after the fall of Pagan dynasty. During the Ava period (1364–1555), the city was the famous fief of the prince or senior princes. The city briefly became the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 in the reign of King Naungdawgyi. On August 8, 1988; Sagaing was the site of demonstrations which were concluded by a massacre in which around 300 civilians were killed.
Once you cross the Inwa Bridge, you see the hilltops, each crested with a pagoda. Besides, tourists are engaged in the banners proclaiming the Buddha's teaching and the refuge from all ills and tribulations where over 600 monasteries for monks and nuns are located for Buddhistic studies and meditation. The Padamyazedi dates from 1300, while the thirty caves pagoda has many Buddha images which were in a crescent shaped colonnade. Mural paintings can be seen in the Tilawkaguru cave temple, which was built around 1672. At the nearby village of Ywahtaung, you can see silver workers who are in the process of producing bowls and other silver items by traditional methods. The most impressive will be considered as “Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin” Pagoda nearby which was constructed in 1312. The view of Sagaing from Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin and its approach is marvellous and stunning.