But so much of the originals still exist that this site must be free of the destructive force of earthquakes which have periodically ravaged many of the Myanmar's other monuments.
External decoration on many of the stupas is simple almost sparse the builders having concentrated on pure grace and form for effect but other features elaborate decoration. Traditional motifs weave intricate patterns of arabesques and stems to create a delicate tracery of the highest artistic merit.
Even more fascinating are the many figures carved in stucco and apparently originally brightly painted which adorn corner or pay silent homage beside the niches in the base many of which still contain antique Buddha images. Angels, musicians, dancers- all created with consummate skill. The remoteness of the site and reluctance of the local people allow visitors have helped to preserve its sculptures and artistic treasures to a degree unknown in other ancient monuments in Myanmar. Kakku is a priceless piece of mankind heritage, a truly splendid example of the creative talent of remarkable people. It will take about 3 hours drive by car.
The legend says that the first stupas were created by King Alaungsithu, the 12th century King of Bagan. The decorative sculptures and figures are 17th or 18th century but some of the structures are clearly much older.
On the full moon day of Tabaung (March) that is the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun, exchange news and gossips, to trade. For the younger set it is the time to meet their friends from other villages or the boys to fall in love with the girls.
As it is, all the people of the region arrive by the thousands, dressed in their traditional costumes. Some come in bullock carts while others arrive by more modern conveyances, on the village tractor.
But the most interesting time to visit this place is to get there before dawn of the full moon day of Tabaung where the Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.