Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park
ASEAN Heritage Parks
|Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park - Shrine to Maha Kathapa|
|Named after Buddha's saintly disciple, the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park was established as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1981 and opened as a National Park in 1984. The Park covers an area of 159,761 hectares in the Mingin and Kani townships of Sagaing Division. A shrine can be found within the Park boundaries and depicts a reclining figure called Kathapa whose remains are believed to lie in the shrine. A small group of monks care for the shrine. The monks have joined forces with authorities to educate visitors (over 100,000 pilgrims visit annually) about conservation and wildlife.
The Park is hilly with accented valleys. The terrain rises from 204 meters to 1,280 meters above sea level. It is well watered with many streams that become impassable during the rainy season. It protects the drainage basin of two perennial rivers, the Pa-hto-lon and Taungdwin, which are western tributaries of the Chindwin River.
The Park covers a range of vegetation types that are based on elevation. These include moist upper mixed deciduous forests up to 1,400 meters, dry upper mixed deciduous forests, lower mixed deciduous teak forests, indaing dry dipterocarp forest and some pine forests on higher ridges.