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Mandalay

 

Mandalay (Yadanabon), the last capital of the Myanmar kingdom, is in Central Myanmar, 688 km due north of Yangon. It is the largest city after Yangon and is the place where one will come closet to real Myanmar. The royal city came into being only in 1859 when "King Mindon" established it as new center for the teaching of Buddhism. The King also made Mandalay as his capital, moving from near by Amarapura to the newly built Royal Palace at the foot of the Mandalay Hill. Being rich in monasteries and pagodas, it is still accepted as the arts and cultural heartland of Myanmar. For lovers of arts and crafts.

 Skilled crafts-men make world famous genuine tapestry called "Shwe Chi Htoe" (Golden Weaving), beautiful articles of ivory, wood, marble and stone, silverware and bronze statues according to the time-honored traditions of their fore-fathers.

It takes about one hour and thirty minutes by air from Yangon. There are daily flights during the tourist season from October to May. The new International Airport has already finished & opened .Express trains are running which takes about 14 hours. Yangon- Mandalay highway is over 700km and overland travelers are advised to break journey at Taungoo ( 280 km ) or at Meikhtila ( 540 km ) where there are hotels for overnight stay. The government and private express busses are also running everyday.

PLACE OF INTEREST IN MANDALAY AREAS

Mandalay Hill

The hill has for long been a holy mount and legend has it that the Buddha on His visit had prophesied that a great city would be founded at its foot. Mandalay Hill,230 metres in elevation, commands a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside. At present, it has already finished the construction of motorcar road to reach hilltop easily.

Mandalay Palace

The fire during the World War II destroyed the whole magnificent palace complex. However, the finely built palace walls, the city gates with their crowing wooden pavilions and the surrounding moat still present an impressive scene of the Mandalay Palace " Mya-nan-san-kyaw Shwenandaw" , the model of the Mandalay Palace, Nanmyintsaung, Cultural Museum and Pyi-gyi-mon Floating Restaurant in the moat are located inside the Palace grounds.

Shwenandaw Monastery

Famous for its intricate woodcarvings, this monastery is a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Palace. Actually, it was built inside Mandalay Palace but it was moved to this place by King Thibaw in 1880.

Maha Muni Pagoda

The Image is said to have been cast in the lifetime of the Gautama Buddha and that the Buddha embraced it 7 times there by bringing it to life. Consequently, devout Buddhists hold it to be alive and refer to it as the Maha Muni Sacred Living Image. Revered as the holiest pagoda in Mandalay. It was built by King Bodawpaya in 1784. The Image in sitting posture is 12 feet and 7 inches ( 3.8 metres ) high. This pagoda enshrines the famous Maha Muni Buddha Image brought from Rakhine State also called the Rakhine Buddha Image. The early morning ritual of washing the face of Buddha Image draws a large crowd of devotees' everyday. And the Image is also considered as the greatest, next to Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. A visit to Mandalay is incomplete without a visit to Maha Muni Pagoda.

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Built by King Mindon in 1857, this pagoda modeled on the Shwe Zigon Pagoda at Nyaung U, is surrounded by 729 upright stone slabs on which are inscribed the entire Buddhist Scriptures as edited and approved by the 5th Buddhist Synod. It is popularly known as "the World Biggest Book" for its stone scriptures.

 
 

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