The most famous attraction for travellers to Pindaya is the Pindaya Cave. In fact, this Shan State township takes its name from a legend about the cave, a giant spider, seven celestial princesses and a heroic prince.
According to the story, when the spider trapped the princesses in the cave, a handsome prince of Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) rescued the women by shooting the spider with his bow and arrow. “I got the spider!” the prince yelled. In Burmese, “he got the spider” is “pingu ya pe,” which became “pindaya.”
The cave is a sacred pilgrimage site for devout Buddhists, but few foreign tourists have ventured here. It is worth seeking out. There are three caves on the limestone ridge above the town; the southernmost one is open to visitors. Inside, you will find over 8,000 images of the Buddha, most of them gold-covered, some dating to the late 18th century and some from recent years. The images have been donated by wealthy merchants and laypeople alike.
The oldest Buddha images are believed to have been installed by a cult of Mahayana Buddhists (most people in Myanmar practice Theravada Buddhism), and you can recognize these by the seed, or medicine pot, that the Buddha cups close to his chest in his right hand, or by the jewels on his robes and in his ears.
The cave extends 490 feet into the hillside. You will see a sign marking the terminus. Some people believe that it is the beginning of a tunnel that leads all the way to the caves at Bagan, another holy place. You can have a look and see for yourself...