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Mandalay is the second largest city after Yangon and the last capital of Myanmar’s monarchy. It is located at 668km north from Yangon. The city was founded in 1857 by King Mindon. Mandalay is well known as the centre of Myanmar culture and famous for the wonderful Mandalay Royal Palace surrounding by the fondly built Palace Walls and wooden pavilions city gates and its association with royal moat.
PLACE OF INTEREST IN MANDALAY AREA
Legend claims that Lord Buddha had made a prophecy that a great city would be arisen at the foot of Mandalay hill which rises to 230 meters. Half and hour climb up the steps brings you to the panoramic view over the palace, Mandalay and pagoda studded countryside. There is an elevator at the main entrance to save your walk.
The palace was almost completely destroyed by fire during the World War II but the remaining-palace walls, city gates and the moat can still be seen. Models or replicas of the palace were built recently.
Stands close the southern entrance to Mandalay Hill. This huge seated Buddha Image carved from a single block of marble. It was built by King Mindon in 1865. Those who wished to study the treatise of Buddhism can completely see and read them. “Pali” Language is used in the inscription.
Known as the world’s biggest book for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka. Each slab is housed in its own individual small stupa. Built in 1859 by King Mindon. Those who wish to study Buddhism treatise completely there. “Pali” Language is used in the inscription.
This Atumashi Kyaung (unrivalled Monastery), traditional Myanmar Monastic construction – a masonry base topped by a wooden building was built in 1857 by King Mindon. It was caught fire in 1890. Although it is now only a pale shadow of its original form, the ruined building is still impressive.
This Shwenandaw Kyaung (The Golden Monastery) is of great interest, not only as a fine example of a traditional Myanmar wooden monastery, but also as a fragile reminder of old Mandalay Fort.
Shweinbin Monastery is located at the southwest corner of Mandalay City. This attractive monastery built in traditional Burmese fashion is one of the few buildings that have survived the test of time. Constructed in 1895 by Chinese merchants, the monastery consists of many impressive woodcarvings and also contains a number of admirable works of art.
It is the landmark of Mandalay. 4m-high seated image is cast in bronze completely covered the figure in a 15cm- thick layer of gold leaf by thousands of devout Buddhists over the years. King Bo Daw paya brought the image from Rakhine State in 1784. Many devotees are present everyday visiting the pagoda. It is the must to visit while you are in Mandalay. Each morning at 4 am, Yedaw Sayadaw and his accompany wash the Mahamuni’s face and even brush its teeth – an event well worth getting up early to see.
Arts & crafts
Myanmar arts and crafts are abundant in Mandalay and you can get some really good. There are many little shops selling gems, wood carving, stone curving, and tapestries, silk and other crafts.
Some 11 km south of Mandalay is the town of Amarapura. It was the capital of Konbaung Dynasty during the reign of King Bodawpaya when he moved its capital to Amarapura in 1783. After forty years of reigns, the capital was moved to Inwa and Amarapura was left desolated. Although the glorious days of Amarapura were short-lived, the great events occurred during the reigns. Places of interest are Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, U Bein Bridge, 1.2 km long teak bridge across the Taungthaman Lake, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Nagayon Pagoda, Mahagandaryone Monastery with a famous collection of Buddha Images where more than a thousand of monks who take their last meal of the day at 10 am in the morning in total silence and Cotton and Silk Weaving Cottage Industry. Significantly, U Bein Bridge attracts foreign tourists for its unusual bridge construction-with no nails studded. It is an amazing Myanmar's old architecture method indeed. U Bein Bridge attracts tourists for its unusual bridge construction with no nails studded.
One of the most scenic sites of Myanmar with numerous pagodas crowning the top of the hills lay 21 km south-west of Mandalay and west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing is famous as a Buddhists retreat where over 400 monasteries for monks and nuns are located for Buddhist studies and meditation around the Sagaing Hill which is dotted with pagodas. Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, the dome shaped Kaung Hmudaw Pagoda, and Ywahtaung (home of the silversmiths' guilds) are places worth visiting. Innwa Tadar (Ava Bridge) is the oldest bridge built across Ayeyarwaddy. Nearby is the famous Thabyedan Fort. Myanmar of all over the country would visit Sagaing for the purpose of religious retreat.
Innwa lies at the confluence of the Ayeyarwaddy and the Dothtavati rivers about 20 miles south west of Mandalay. The King Thadominbya founded the city in 1364 and it flourished for nearly three hundred years bringing forth its Myanmar culture and literature to the highest pitch. Nanmyint Watch Tower, Maha Aung Myay Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Wooden Monastery, Menu brick monastery and alms bowls and Lacquer ware Industry are the highlights of Inwa.
Located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the western banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River, is a town well-known for its 90 ton Mingun Bell, the largest ringing bell in the world; a mammoth unfinished Mingun Pagoda overlooking the Ayeyarwaddy River; Settawya Pagoda, and Sinbyume Pagoda and 45 minutes cruise along the river can view some of the village life of the people on the river banks.
PYIN OO LWIN (MAYMYO)
A place where there are past, British Colonial buildings exist. Over 1000 m above sea level, the foothills of the Shan Plateau, a popular hill station about 69 km away from Mandalay. It is always known as Pyin Oo Lwin by the natives was renamed Maymyo after Colonel May, a British officer in the Bengal Infantry who was stationed at this hill station. It is well-known for its colonial style houses with large compound and pine tree and silver oak around in town. It is also known as Pan Myo Daw (the city of flower). Interested places are 175 hectare National Kandawgyi Park, Pwe Kauk and Ani-sakan Waterfalls. One that you should not miss is a ride on the old horse-drawn coach.
Situated some 136 km north of Mandalay, Monywa is the centre of the Chindwin Valley. Being the second largest river of Myanmar, Chindwin is important for trading in the area. History has it that Monywa was founded in the Bagan era (1044-1287) and it was formerly called "Thalarwady". It is noted for its unusual temples. One of the most famous is Thanboddhay Temple, which resembles Indonesia's Borobudur because of similarities in its architectural design. It was built between 1939 and 1952 by Moenyin Sayadaw enshrines 512028 status Some grottos are built since Bagan Period but wall painting are still in good condition. You can also visit the amazing place of 1000 Boddhi Trees (kind of Banyan tree) under each of which was built a Buddha image. Four kilometers past Thanboddhay is 90 meters long reclining Buddha image on top of a hill. A very small museum, inside of which are 9000 Buddha images, attached with the reclining image. Another highlight of Monywa is the Crater Lake of Twin Hills. According to geologists, it was the crater of an extinct volcano some five million years ago. But another version said that it was the effect of a meteorite, and rainfall subsequently filled the crater to form a lake. There is now an algae processing plant there. Po Win Taung and Shwe ba Taung are on the West Bank of Chindwin River. There, temples and caves are curved out of volcanic rocks and inside walls of some caves are decorated with 13th century / 18th century mural paintings. The water way from Monywa to Bagan by boat is only four and a half hour trip. But you will find it very short, as the landscape of both riversides is more than just picturesque. You will also see the confluence of Chindwin and Ayeyarwaddy rivers on the way. You will be ravished by the scenery of mighty Ayeyarwaddy River and its river bank.
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