Mandalay – the name reverberates an aura of old majestic kingdoms, despite the fact that this fairly new city was created by King Mingdon Min of Burma in 1857. Legend has it that the city was built to fulfil Lord Buddha's prophecy for it to be a metropolis of Buddhism. While much of its old grandeur has diminished since the World War II, plenty of Buddhist heritages still enjoy their well-preserved existence here, which explains why the majority of monks in Myanmar reside here.
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Mahamuni Buddha Temple
Constructed after Buddha's visit to Dhanyawadi City of Arakan in 554 BC, it is one of the most cherished Buddhist temples in the world, as it is home to the Mahamuni image (also known as The Great Sage). According to the local folklore, once the image was casted, Buddha himself breathed upon it, and thereafter the image became the exact likeness of the Mahamuni.
An iconic landmark of the city from which it got its name, Mandalay Hill stands tall at 230 metres above ground, with spectacular views of the nearby stupas, Ayeyarwady River, and a stunning panorama of the city. You can choose whether to climb 1729 steps of covered stairway, take the escalator or a motor vehicle to the top, where there are temples, a monastery, as well as a hall where the Peshawar Relic (the three fragments of bone of Buddha) is put on display.
More than just your usual pagoda, this creation of King Mingdon has 729 marble slabs inscribed with texts of Tripitaka, a collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhism tradition. In addition to that, you can find the world's largest book – with 730 leaves and 1460 pages upon stone tablets, housed in small Sinhalese relic caskets or shrines around the central golden pagoda.
Just down south from the city centre is the township of Amarapura which has a colourful history of its own. Here you can visit the U Bein Bridge—a 1.2km wooden foot bridge which is the world's longest teak bridge, Kyawtawgi Paya—a stupa built by King Pagan in 1847, and Amarapura Palace ruins which contain the tombs of King Bodawpaya and King Bagyidaw as well as part of the old canal. You can also find Buddha's Sacred Replica Tooth Relic Pagoda here.
Mandalay Marionettes Theatre
A colourful and entertaining cultural show which consists of three different parts—introduction to Myanmar traditional dance and music, Myanmar puppet show, Buddha and/or Ramayana's story—the theatre offers an interesting insights into the local arts and cultural scene.
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|Transportation ||To ||Duration ||Fare |
|Taxi ||City centre ||1 hour ||Around MMK 21000 |
|Shuttle Bus ||City centre ||1 hour ||FREE |
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