rises over a Buddhist pagoda, one of the thousands dotted along the 2,000-km
"You are the mother of all. You nurture our lives
with your milk. You adorn our land with your beauty. You endow our civilisation
with your soul". So extol the people of Myanmar. Known to many as
its colonial name of Irrawaddy, the Ayeyarwady (ayeyar - big, wati - river)
is not only the heart and soul of the country, but also a main artery
carrying the livelihood of the its people.
Along the mighty river, civilisation flourished - Bagan, Mandalay
(right), Mingun, Innwa (Ava), Amarapura, Sagaing, Thayekhittaya,
Tagaung, the list goes on. The Ayeyarwady to the Myanmars is the
Gange to the Indians and the Yangtze to the Chinese.