Mandalay

Mandalay, the second biggest city of Myanmar is located in Mandalay division, the dry zone of the central plain. Over 3 million people are living on the 14295 square mile area. Mandalay can be accessible by air, by waterway, by railway, and by land. In the year 1859, the second last king of Myanmar Dynasty , King Min Dong set up Mandalay and fell down under British Colony after 26 years later in 1885. Some regard that it is called ‘Mandalay’ as it is in the right middle of the Universe. As Mandalay had been the royal capital of Lower Myanmar (Burma), old city wall which is 2 kilometer long on each side the square shape area of the palace ground, can still be witnessed till recently. Mandalay is remarkable as the city of culture for it is very flourish with various Myanmar traditional arts and crafts like weaving, bronze casting, marble work, wood carving, gold embroidery, silver smithy, gold foil home industry, and so on except from lacquer ware work. This second biggest city is also known as’ City of Buddhism’ as there are huge numbers of learners’ monasteries and nunneries and University of Buddhism especially over 250 year old wooden religious monuments decorated with beautiful Myanmar typical architecture, remaining as ancient cultural heritage of the country. Mandalay has very little rain for it is in very dry zone just at sea level of 200 feet. Anyway, because of easy accessibility it is famous as ‘Five gate Way City ‘in the world.

Interesting and worth visiting places in Mandalay are mainly included enormous Buddha image of Mahamuni Temple, seating on 7 feet-tall pedestal , having been carried from the western part of the country in around late 18th century.

Other places to visit in Mandalay are Kuthodaw Pagoda, well-known to be the world largest book of Buddhism, where one can study Buddhism literature by touring round in the pagoda compound on the 729 sheets of flat marble.

Another famous site is Shwe Kyaung or Golden Palace monastery as the palace house of King Min Done having been dismantled and moved from the palace to the foot of Mandalay Hill. Inside and outside the monastery is richly decorated with great work of wood carving and the huge teak wooden pillars.

Mandalay Hill is also a place for over viewing the scenery of the city and it is a good place for watching sunset behind the west mountain range with the view of mighty Irrawaddy.

The most fantastic site for the sunset out of Mandalay city is U Bein Bridge located in Amarapura town, 12 kilometer far away in the south of Mandalay city. It used to be the royal capital before Mandalay Yadanarpon City was set up by the king. There also are many interesting places to visit in this old royal capital such as U Bein Bridge which can spectacularly be seen being built crossing the big lake at the back of famous monastery ' Mahargandaryone' .

Gold leaf beating, tapestry, turnery, marble stone carving, silk weaving and gold smiths are also worth visiting for the sightseeing. Mandalay as a town is not as attractive as others in the country.

MAHAMUNI PAGODA

The Buddha image was brought from Rakhine state at the end of 18th Century and weighs about 7 tons. There are during all the day activities at this image by monks. Many rural people from upper Myanmar gather at the four stairways. The statue of two human, lions and three headed elephants brought from Angkor can also be seen.






SHWE KYAUNG MONASTERY

It is the solely heritage from the original Mandalay Palace. The monastery used to be the house of Myanmar King Mindon. The whole monastery is built from teak and artistic woodcarvings can be seen in this Monastery, depicting Buddha’s life.