The last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom, Mandalay today is the religious heart of the country with some of the country’s most beautiful pagodas, including the highly revered Mahamuni Paya, home to a famous Buddha-image covered in gold leaf. Those interested in Buddhism will appreciate the Mahagandayone Monastery where more than a thousand monks and novices live and study. Mandalay is also home to the world’s largest book with 729 marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures at the Kuthodaw Pagoda. Famous for its arts and crafts, Mandalay is a good place to buy everything from traditional wooden puppets to hand-woven fabrics.
MANDALAY PALACE - Mandalay was once the royal capital of Myanmar, and the Mandalay Palace bear best witness to its history, which to some extend shaped Mandalay into what the city is today. Mandalay Palace was built in between 1857 and 1859 as the residence of King Mindon, marking the founding of Mandalay as the royal capital of Myanmar. The palace generally follows the design of traditional Burmese palaces – encircled by walls and a moat, all buildings within the walls are of one storey in height, and the number of spires above a building indicates the importance of the area below.
In 1885, when the British troops invaded the palace and captured the royal family, the palace ceased its function as a royal palace, marking the coming of British colonial era. Then during the World War Two, the palace compound was destroyed by bombing and only the royal mint and the watch tower survived. What we see today is a replica of the palace rebuilt in the 1990s. The watch tower is 33 meters high, where you can gat a panoramic view of the palace compound.
MAHAMUNI PAGODA - The Mahamuni Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple and major pilgrimage site, located southwest of Mandalay, Burma. The Mahamuni Buddha image is deified in this temple, and originally came from Arakan. It is highly venerated in Burma and central to many people's lives, as it is seen as an expression of representing the Buddha's life.
KUTHODAW PAGODA - Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, located in Mandalay, Myanmar, which contains the world's largest book. It lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill and was built during the reign of King Mindon. The stupa itself, which is gilded above its terraces, is 188 feet (57 m) high, and is modelled after the Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U near Bagan. In the grounds of the pagoda are 729 kyauksa gu or stone-inscription caves, each containing a marble slab inscribed on both sides with a page of text from the Tipitaka, the entire Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.
KYAUKTAWGYI PAGODA - This is one of the biggest marble Buddha Images in Myanmar with a height of 37ft (11m) and a weight of weighs over 600 tons. The classical name of this Image is Lawkachantha Abaya Labamuni, meaning World Peace and Prosperity. This Sitting Buddha Image is curved out from a single marble stone. The giant stone was found in the Sakyin region, Medaya Township in Mandalay Division. The draft sculpture was carried through the Ayeyarwaddy river down to Yangon. Then it was finally touched up. The sculpting and the enshrining got completed in 2008 and located in Insein, Yangon.
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