Mandalay is the third-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar Kingdom. It located 445 miles (716 km) north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. The population of Mandalay is around 1 million and is the capital of Mandalay Region.Mandalay is the economic point of Upper Myanmar and consider the centre of Myanmar culture. On 13 February 1857, King Mindon founded a new royal capital at the base of Mandalay Hill, it is Mandalay city. Despite Naypyidaw’s recent rise, Mandalay remains Upper Burma’s main commercial, educational and health center. Mandalay is located in the central dry zone of Myanmar at 21.98° North, 96.08° East, 64 meters (210 feet) above sea level. Its standard time zone is UTC/GMT +6:30 hours.
The Mahamuni Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple and major pilgrimage site, located southwest of Mandalay. The Mahamuni Buddha image originally came from Arakan. It is much venerated in Myanmar. It is an expression of representing the Buddha’s life. According to legend, the Buddha visited the Dhanyawadi city of Arakan(Rakaing) in 554 BC. King Sanda Thuriya of Khanyawadi requested to do respect Buddha. So, Buddha did five likenesses of the Buddha when he was in Dhanyawadi. After casting the Great Image, the Buddha breathed upon it. Among of them, the fifth is the Mahamuni Buddha Image in Mandalay. The image is cast in bronze and weighs 6.5 tones and is erected on a pedestal 1.84 meters high and reaches a height of 3.82 meters. The Mahamuni Buddha Image is housed in a small chamber, seated on a throne in Bhumisparsa Mudra. This posture or Mudra symbolises Buddha’s vanquishing of Mara. The legs are crossed with feet turned inwards, and the right hand touches the ground calling the Earth to witness to his past good deeds.
Mandalay Palace (Myanansankyaw shwenandaw) is the last Royal Palace of the Last Myanmar Kingdom. The Palace was constructed, between 1857 and 1859. It is also the part of King Mindon’s founding of the new royal capital city of Mandalay. The plan of Mandalay Palace largely follows the traditional Burmese palace design, inside a walled fort surrounded by a moat. The palace itself is at the centre of the citadel and faces east. All buildings of the palace are of one storey in height. The number of spires above a building indicated the importance of the area below. Mandalay Palace was the Primary Royal Palace of King Mindon and King Thibaw, the last two kings of the Myanmar Kingdom. After Third English-Myanmar War, the British changed the palace compound into Fort Dufferin. Throughout the British colonial era, the palace was seen the national primary symbol sovereignty and identity. Much of the palace compound was destroyed during World War II by allied bombing; only the royal mint and the watch tower survived. A replica of the palace was rebuilt in the 1990s with some modern materials. Today, Mandalay Palace is a primary symbol of Mandalay and a major tourist destination.
Shwe Nan Daw Monastery
Shwe Nan Daw Monastery is a historical monastery located near Mandalay Hill in Mandalay. It was built by King Mindon in the 19th century. The monastery was built in the traditional Burmese architectural style. King Mindon died on this building. King Thibaw Min, son of King Mindon moved this building from the palace to its current location. Shwe Nan Daw Monastery is the single remaining major structure of the original wooden Royal Palace today. In 1880 the building was turned into a monastery, which hasn’t changed until today. It has not been a target of the bombardments of the allies in World War II. It consists mostly of teak wood, is richly ornamented with carvings and hints at the grandeur of the ancient royal palace.
Mandalay Hill is a 240 metre (790 ft) hill. It is located to the northeast of Mandalay’s downtown. The name of city came from the hill. Mandalay Hill is known for its abundance of Pagodas and Monasteries, and has been a major Pilgrimage site for Buddhists for nearly two centuries. At the top of the hill is the Sutaungpyei (literally wish-fulfilling) Pagoda. A panoramic view of Mandalay from the top of Mandalay Hill alone makes it worthwhile to attempt a climb up its stairways. There are four covered stairways called Saungdan leading up the hill from the south, southeast, west and north, and convenient seats of masonry work line these stairways all the way up. You can climb up the Mandalay Hill with another way. A one-way motor road saves time and makes convenient for one who are unable to climb up the stairs, leading to an escalator and a lift to the pagoda at the summit.
The Atumashi Monastery (Maha Atulawaiyan Kyaungdawgyi) is a Buddhist monastery. King Mindon built this monastery in 1857 after the capital was moved to Mandalay, it housed a famous Buddha image clothed in royal silk clothing and with a huge diamond set on its forehead. The image was stolen following when British takeover in 1885. The original monastery was built by using teak, but burned down in 1890 after a fire in the city destroyed both the structure, and the 30 ft tall Buddha image, as well as complete sets of the Tipitaka. In 1996, the Myanmar archaeological department reconstructed the monastery with prison labor.
Kuthodaw Pagoda (Mahalawka Marazein) is located in Mandalay. This pagoda contains the World Biggest Books. It situated at the foot of Mandalay Hill and was built during the reign of King Mindon. The sputa itself, which is gilded above its terraces. It is 188 feet (57 m) high, and is modeled the shape of the Shwezigon Pagoda in 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. When King Mindon convened the 5th Buddhist Synod here he used a team of 2400 monks to read the book in a nonstop relay. It took them nearly six months to finish.
Amarapura is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay. Amarapura is bounded by the Ayeyarwaddy river in the west,Chanmyathazi township in the north, and the ancient capital site of Innwa in the south. It was the capital of Myanmar twice during the Konbaung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859) before finally being supplanted by Mandalay 11 km north in 1859. It is historically referred to as Taungmyo (Southern City) in relation to Mandalay. Today Amarapura is part of Mandalay city. The township is known because of its traditional silk and cotton weaving, and bronze casting. It is a popular tourist day-trip destination from Mandalay.
U Bein Bridge
The U Bein Bridge is a 1.2 km wooden footbridge (longest teak bridge in the world) and is built by the Mayor U Bein, salvaging the unwanted teak columns from the old palace during the move to Mandalay. The bridge still serves as the most important communication link for the people of his villages. The view of sunset from and around the bridge is perhaps the most beautiful scene around Mandalay. People can sit on the river bank of Taungthaman Lake and fishes freshly catch from the lake. Then, can take a boat ride along Taungthaman Lake. Walk along the bridge until the end, and meet the local villagers coming back from work to their villages on the other side of the Lake.
Monywa is situated on the east bank of Chindwin River and located on the way that connected from Mandalay to Kalay.And then, it is located 136 km northwest of Mandalay and about 50 miles far from the junction of Ayeyarwaddy River and Chindwin River. During Myanmar Kingdoms, Monywa was the village and famous as the Alone Myoe. In 1888, the British divided Chindwin Division into two pieces and choose the city( Monywa) as their official city.
Pho Win Taung
Pho Win Taung caves contain Buddhist images and murals dating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Most exhibit the Innwa style from 14th to 16th centuries. A stairway climbs a hill to the main cave shrine, but there are dozens of large and small caves in the area filled with old Buddha images. The natural shape of the caves was not changed too much and you will enjoy the 17th century exquisite interior wall paintings. Some cave entrances are rimmed with traditional motifs of vines, flowers as well as figures of mythical creatures. Traditional design elements are seen both carved and painted.
Kyauk Ka Village
Kyauk Ka village is a village in Monyw township .Kyauk Kar village was divided into two villages. There are Kyauk Kar (North) village and Si Thar village.
Ava is the ancient imperial capital of successive Myanmar Kingdoms from 14th to 19th century. Now it is the part of Mandalay Division and located from the south of Amarapura on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. The city was completely destroyed because of earthquakes in march 1839. The first founder of Innwa is King Thihathu, but he built his new capital in Pinya in 1313. In September 1364 Thadominbya, grandson of Thihathu, chose Ava as his new capital.
Mahaaungmyaybonzan monastery is also known as the Okk kyaung or Mae’ Nu Okk kyaung. The attraction of this monastery is the cool afforded by its ultrathick walls and the bats flitting through its empty undercroft. This Monastery was built by Queen Mae’ Nu. So it is famous as Mae’ Nu Okk kyaung. And this monastery is covered with stucco brick.
The Bagaya Monastery is a Buddhist Monastery to the southwest of Innwa Palace. This monastery is also famous as Maha Waiyan Bontha Bagaya Monastery. It is one of the tourism destinations in Myanmar. The first monastery was built by using teak in 1593. Maha Thiri Zeya Thinkhaya founded the Bagaya Monastery. In 1821, a great fire broke out the Bagaya Monastery and many important buildings, which the parts of Bagaya Monastery, were burnt in the fire. The government did the reconstruction in 1992 and built the new brick building in the place of the old teak monastery.
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region in Myanmar. It is located on the bank of Ayeyarwady River and 20 km to the southwest of Mandalay. There are numerous Buddhist monasteries and Pagodas in Saging Hill. So Sagaing is one of the most important religious and monastic center. Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, is connected by a set of covered staircases that run up the 240 m hill. Athinkhayar Sawyoon founded this city in Myanmar year 864. The first name of Sagaing was Zayyarpuya(Win City).Although Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Division, all government offices was moved to Monywa in 2000.
Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda
Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda is one of the most famous Pagodas in Sagaing and is located to the north of the city. The real name of this pagoda is Yazamanisular Kaung Hmu Daw. This pagoda is famous because of its egg-shaped design, which stands out among more traditional-style, pyramid-shaped. The Buddha’s relic chamber was enshrined inside these pagoda. King Thalun built the kaung hmu daw pagoda in 1636 and it was completed 12 years later in 1648.
Sagaing Hill is famous as the peaceful place for Buddhist studies because there are numerous pagodas, monasteries and meditation centers on the hill. You can see the magnificent views over Sagaing.
Mingun is a town in Sagaing Division and located 11km from Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. There are Mingun Pahtodawgyi and Mingun Bell, the main attractions, in Mingun.
The Mingun Pahtodawgyi is an uncompleted stupa and it was built by King Bodawpaya in 1790. Mingun Pahtodawgyi was not completed ,because an astrologer claimed that if this temple was finished, the king would die. You can visible the huge cracks on the structure because of earthquake on 12 march1839. The completed stupa would have been the largest in the world because it highs 150 meters.
Mingun Bell is one of the things that was donated by King Bodawpaya. He did this huge bell with his huge stupa at the same time. Min Bell weighting90 tons and it is the third largest bell in the wo
rld. But it is the largest ringing bell in the world today. In Myanmar measurement the weight of the bell is 55,555 viss(1 viss= 1.63 kg) and handed down as a mnemonic (Min Phyu Hman Hman Pyaw) and this consonants representing the number 5 in Myanmar astronomy and numerology.