Last Capital of Myanmar King
Mandalay, the last Capital of Myanmar King is located in central Myanmar.
It was built by king Mindon in 1857,the second last king of Konbaung Dynasty as the Capital of Myanmar. Kind Mindon moved the Capital from Amarapura to Mandalay. It is 15 km south of Mandalay. Mandalay took its name from Mandalay hill which is situated to the north – east of town. The Pali word “Mandalar” which define as plain and auspicious. Mandalay was named Ratanapon or Ratanapura which means the city of the precious stones.
One may call Mandalay, a city within the city because the old city of Mandalay Royal Palace is surrounded by the new city. The old city was built in a form of a square surrounded by the city walls and moats which are 2 km at each side. Population of Mandalay is over 1 million and Mandalay is a major trade centre easily accessible by rail, road, river and air. A very large number of monuments related to Buddhism, Mandalay is the centre of Buddhism studies in Myanmar. It is an important economic center rich in cultural and historical monuments, pagodas, art galleries. It is within easy reach of most tourist spots located in its vicinity.
Places of interest are Mandalay Hill, Royal Palace, Moat and city Wall, Mahamuni Buddha Image, Shwe Kaung Gyi or Golden Palace Monastery, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Atumashi Monastery and Shwenandaw Monastery. Being a center of Myanmar traditional arts and crafts, handy craft workshops such as; bronze casting of Buddha Images, marble and wood carving, ivory carving, embroidery of making Kalagas or tapestry weaving, the making of marionettes (Puppet) and hand woven silk and cotton workshop are worth visit.
The whole palace complex inside the city walls and moats were destroyed by fire during the second world War. The palace walls, the four gates and the moats still stand today as evidence of the majestic Palace City. Most of the palace buildings have been reconstructed within the premises.
Also known as Shwe Kaung Gyi,a private apartment of king Mindon who was the founder of Mandalay city. It was thickly covered in gold and the remain of gold can be seen today.This beautifully built monastery was originally inside the palace compound. When king Mindon died his son King Thibaw had it moved to its present site, east of the palace in 1879.One can study masterpiece of traditional wood carving.
It means incomparable monastery and it lies just beside the Shwenandaw kaung. It is one of the seven monuments founded by king Mindon in 1857. This monastery was once described by western visitors as one of the most beautiful buildings in all Mandalay.
The Golden Mahamuni Buddha Image
Mandalay’ most fabled religious monument is the Mahamyat Muni, but the people of Mandalay prefer the name “Pha-ya-gi”or great Pagoda. Apart from its another epithet “ Arakan Pagoda”, as it was taken from Arkansas kingdom around two centuries ago.
According to its popular legend, the lord Buddha himself bestowed his seven meditative breaths into the statue and prophesied that the image would last as long as the teaching themselves.
Unlike the other most commonly seen images, the “Sublime Sage” is not wearing a simple monk’ robe but is embellished in bejeweled crown and full royal regalia. This unusual depiction of the Buddha show himself as a cakkavatti or emperor of the universe. It is the tradition copy after Pala age models.
For the early risers, the early morning ablutions to wash the image’s face washed with incensed water and its teeth cleaned at 4: 30 am every day.
So covered with gold is this 13 foot (3.8m) statue expect the face, the rest of the body is coated under millions of strips of gold leaves. If the amount of gold (2.7 kg) 6 pounds a year is to be slicked on statute, some 500 pounds(225kg) of gold envelopes the statues- is never your guess work!
It is one of the seven monuments of king Mindon. It is well known by many people as the world biggest book. As many as 729 monoliths of white marble slabs on which the Buddhist Cannon or Tripitaka (three baskets of laws) has been inscribed, as authenticated by the fifth Buddhist synod convened by king Mindon. These are enshrined in small temples surrounded the central Pagoda.
Mandalay Hill, 230 meters in elevation, gives a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside. The legend has it that the Buddha visited Mandalay hill and made a prophecy that a great city would be founded at the foot of this hill.
The Temple for the Great Marble Buddha Image was built by King Mindon which is located at the of base of Mandalay hill. Built in 1865, the Pagoda is so called because it houses a large image of the Buddha sculpted from a single block of beautiful Sagyin marble.
Shwe In Bin Monastery
In the day of our last Burmese king. There are (1257), monastery in Mandalay.
Shwe In Bin, a typical Burmese Monastery of the 20th century was donated by a rich chinese U Set Shwin. It is known as a typical monastery because of its four features as a monastery would have. A main audience hall with the altar, apartment for monks, store house and vaulted chamber. The best of the wood carving can be seen at the monastery.
Other attraction places:
Sandamuni Pagoda, Gold leaf beating place, Stone carving, Zegyo Market and other cottages industries such as Silk and cotton Weaving etc.