Heritage and environmental research will be conducted at the natural limestone caves in Kyaikmaraw township, Mon State, a members of the local hluttaw said. The inquiry and cataloguing will take place at the Kha Yon, Hpar Baung, Sabe and Mei Ka Yo caves starting this November, according to Mon State Hluttaw’s Deputy Speaker U Aung Naing Oo.
Mawlamyine University professors of history, geography, physics, Myanmar studies and geology will collaborate in the research, he added.“There are many natural caves in Kyaikmaraw township, but nobody has conducted research [on them],” he said. “We don’t know their value. Some caves have ancient pagodas and statues. If we can conduct research, we can assist in preserving this ancient heritages and conserve the environment if companies start talking about investing in Kyaikmaraw township or the government decides to do something one day.”
U Aung Naing Oo added that the natural beauty of Kyaikmaraw township could be a draw for visitors if the locations such as the limestone karsts and caves, and hot springs were properly preserved. He said by visiting and indexing the caves, the state could help fuel the tourism industry.
The research will be divided into three categories: ancient pagodas and inscriptions, limestone caves and lakes and hot springs.
U Aung Naing Oo said he expects the research will be finished by June next year, with the results compiled in a paper.
So far, only Kha Yon Cave has any sort of preservation, after the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library took an interest in 1975.