You can Enjoy With Mandalay One Day Tour
Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar, named as Yandanabon or the City of Gems is the second largest city in Myanmar Established in 1875 by King Mindon. "The Road to Mandalay" by Rudyard Kipling's made the name even to those who had never heard of Myanmar or Burma. The city was built on the grid system of 144 square blocks, anchored by 16 square block royal palace compound at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The Palace inside the citadel was surrounded by a 64 m (210 ft.) wide mote and 6666 feet long square walls. Mandalay is well known for Myanmar traditional, cultural and also exquisite handicraft such as hand woven embroidery in silk and cotton, the process of making gold leaves, wood and stone carving, and bronze casting, etc. If you are thinking of making day trips to ancient cities outside Mandalay, it’s best to do Sagaing one day and Innwa (Eva) and Amarapura for another day. The places you should visit are Mandalay Palace, Mandalay Museum, Mandalay Hill, Mahar Myatmuni Paya, Kuthodaw Paya (Word Heritage Unesco), Atumashi Kyaung, Shwenandaw Kyaung, U Pain’s Bridge and so on.
Tour Highlights in Mandalay
- Maha Myat Muni Buddha Image
- Kuthodaw Pagoda
- Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda
- Mandalay Palace
- Atumashi Monastery
- Sanda Muni Pagoda
- Mandalay Hill
- Sutaungpyi Pagoda
- Yankin Hill
- U Bein Bridge
- Kyaut Taw Gyi Pagoda
- Pahtotawgyi Pagoda
- Shwe GU Gyi Pagoda
- Thabyedan Fort
- Gold Leaf Making Industry
King Bodawpaya built this Pagoda in 1784 to house the Mahar Myatmuni Buddha Image brought from Rakhine State. The Mahar Myatmuni Buddha Image is the most revered Buddha image in Mandalay and also the most ancient Buddha image in Myanmar. It was cast in the life -span of Lord Buddha in the seated posture of Bumi Phasa Mudras, symbol of His Conquest of Mara. The 4m high-seated image is cast in bronze and weighs 6.5 tons, which crown is decorated with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Thousands of devotees apply gold leaf to gain merit, the image has completely covered with 15 cm thick gold and original shape is distorted. Mahar Myatmuni Buddha Image was being cast in front of the Buddha himself. Therefore, it can say that Mahar Myatmuni Buddha Image is the portrait of Buddha and the face is most revered. Every morning at 4:30AM, a team of monks washes the face and brushes the teeth, draws a daily crowd of devotees.
The Kuthodaw Pagoda (also known as Mahar Lawka Marazein Paya) is well known for its world’s largest book. Built by King Mindon at the same time he was constructing the Royal Palace. Its central stupa is modeled after the Shwezigon at Nyaung U near Bagan. The former includes the platform in the measurement. The 729 marble slabs are standing the around the stupa on which are inscribed on both sides with the Pali script text of a portion the Tripitaka (Pali spelling, or Tripitaka, in Sanskrit), Theravada Buddhism’s sacred texts. The slabs were carved from white Sagaing Hill and started the work of carving began in October 1860 and was carried out in a special hall within King Mindon’s Royal Palace. Each slab is 5 ft. ((1.5 m) by 3.5 ft. (1.1 m) wide and 5-6 in. (12.7 – 15 cm) thick. The carvers completed their task in May 1869.
Kyauktawgyi Pagoda means “Great Marble Image,” is situated near the southern entry to Mandalay Hill. The construction was started in 1853 by King Mindon, however it was not completed until 1878. The chief feature is huge seated Buddha image sculpted from a single block of pale green marble from the Sagyin quarry miles north of Mandalay.
King Mindon built Mandalay Palace in Mandalay, by when he shifted his capital from Amarapura in 1857. The palace was built of teak wood gilded with gold and vermilion. The queens' chambers is 1 Southern, 2 Northern and 3 lesser queens in the West. The buildings were superbly planned and executed to the court, the moat, water systems, roads, gardens with shady tamarind trees, recreational playgrounds, swimming pools, mint, security ports, cavalry, archers, artillery, sheds for royal elephants, stables, audience halls, throne halls, religious edifices, monastery and devotional hall. The completion of construction took five years (from 1857 to 61). It is located right in the center of the palace grounds enclosed within fortified high walls and the beautiful deep moat all the layout in perfect squares. From the Mandalay Hill, you can get the enchanting view of the Palace and the Sagaing Bridge, the Ayeyarwady River and the hill ranges.
The Atumashi Kyaung (Incomparable Monastery) was built in 1857 by King Mindon. The original Atumashi was a magnificent wooden structure with exterior stucco. It was considered one of Southeast Asia’s most magnificent buildings. It originally contained an image of the Buddha clothed in the king’s silk clothing and with a large diamond set in the forehead of the Buddha, four complete sets of the Tripitaka and much more. However the image was stolen in 1885 and the monetary was fired and its entire contents burned down in 1890. It was rebuilt according to the original plans in 1996 by the archaeological department with the use of convict labor because only the charred teak pillars, a grand staircase and some colonnaded walls remained.
The Sandamuni Pagoda is a cluster of slender whitewashed stupas located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill. The Sandamani Pagoda enshrines an iron Buddha image cast by King Bodawpaya in 1802 and brought by King Mindon from Amarapura to his new pagoda and shrine in 1874. It was built as a memorial to King Mindon's younger half-brother, the Prince Kanaung, who had helped him seize power in 1853. In 1866 Prince Kanaung was assassinated in an unsuccessful revolt inspired by Prince Myingun. The Sabdamani Pagoda was built as a memorial to Prince and the other members of the royal family who lost their lives in the coup.
Mandalay Hill is the natural watch-tower for the visitors to see the beauty of sunrise or sunset over the city and rises 230 m above the surrounding plain. The two statue of Lions guard the hill at the bottom in front of the southwest entrance. The top of the Mandalay hill by escalator and pay homage to Su Taung Pyi Pagoda (wish-granting Pagoda), built by King Anawratha in 414 Myanmar Era. Moreover, from the bottom to top of the hill as the stairways are being constructed thus you can climb the 1,729 steps of the southern stairway with the magnificent guardian Chinthe (half-lion, half-dragon) at the entry, use stairways on the other side or use easier means and take the escalator, cars or buses to the top. From the top, you can view the two elegant Snakes raising the hoods up, panoramic view of the city, the old Royal Palace and Fortress as well as the Ayeyarwady River, the distant Shan Hills, Sagaing Hill, Ayeyarwady River and Mingun in the west and Yankin hill, YaeTa Khun Hill in the east can be enjoyed with pleasure. In the evening, the platform of Mandalay Hill’s Su Taung Pyi Pagoda is crowded with tourists and local who record the beauty of sunset. If you visit Mandalay, don’t miss to enjoy the natural beauty of Mandalay hill not very far from the capital and to pay homage the prominent pagodas there.
The pagoda was originally built by King Anawratha, in 1052. U Khan Dee, the famous and legendary "Hermit on the Hill", who spent years of his life on the hill raising funds for many building on and around including Sutaungpyai Pagoda.
The Yankin Hill is 3 km east of Mandalay. Yankin Hill means "away from danger", is also a good spot for sunset. There is a bus route winding up the hill from both the South and North side. The Mya Kyauk tube well is situated near the Yankin Hill and you can also pay homage to the Atula Maha Mya Kyauk Pagoda.
Amarapura is a southern suburb of Mandalay and lies on the east bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Known as Taung-Myo (Southern Town) or Myo-hung (Old City). Founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783 as his new capital, Amarapura means "city of immortality". Today, most visitors come to walk on the world's longest teak bridge; U Bein Bridge and work began in 1782. Amarapura is also famous for its silk-weaving industry, which produces the akyeik longyi (skirt worn by both men and women) that are used in formal ceremonies. The other highlights in Amarapura are Mahagandayon Monastery, over one thousand monks make a solemn procession through the Monastery ground en route to their lunch and the most interesting highlight is U Bein (1.2 km) long world oldest teak bridge over Lake Taungthaman which is a hub of fishing activity. Unforgettable glorious senses of waterfront life view and enjoy a fantastic sunset view of U Bein Bridge and Taung Thaman Inn. There are many monasteries on both sides of the bridge and you will frequently see young monks walking across. The valuable Burmese archeological designs can also be observed by visiting to the historical pagodas such as The Kyaut Taw Gyi Pagoda, Pahtotawgyi Pagoda and Shwe GU Gyi Pagoda.
This bridge became to be known as U Bein Bridge after the name of the donor. U Bein was a clerk to the Mayor of Amarapura. This bridge was constructed in 1849 from old planks and timber posts from Inwa Palace. It took nearly two years to finish. It was opened in 1851 and is about three quarter of a mile crossing the Taung-tha-man Inn (lake). It is one of the most attractive spot for tourists in Myanmar as it is the longest teak bridge in the world about two centuries old. From that time, it has constantly been in use by the people and in recent years by foreign visitors also. There are now 1086 posts and 482 spans. 9 points were served as drawbridges which were built to allow the royal barges and war boats to go under the bridge and out to the Ayeyarwadi River in the old days.
Built by King Bagan in 1847 is said to be modelled of the Ananda Temple at Bagan. There is one principal image carved out of a single block of Sagyin marble and has well preserved frescoes in the four entrances porches. The walls in the east and south porches are adorned with many religious buildings erected by the donor and other kings in different parts of the country and scenes. Around Kyauk Taw Gyi is very peaceful and have shady places where is a good place to rest and see sunset.
King Bagyidaw and his Queen built on 2nd March 1820 and the pagoda was completed on 19th February 1824. Situated in the southern part of Amarapura, the Pahtodawgyi Pagoda modeled on the Mahazedi of Sri Lanka. The base measures 180 feet in circumference and the height also measures 180 feet. The lower terraces have marble slabs illustrating scenes from the Jataka. You can get a fine view over the surrounding countryside from the upper terrace. An inscription stone within the temple precincts details the history of the pagoda's construction.
Shwe GU Gyi (Golden Big Cave) is located on the west of the railways compound and between wards Zay Cho and Hman Dan. The ruin left by King Narapati Sithu (AD 1174) was repaired by the Crown Prince (Sirimahadhammabhidhaja Sihasura) in the time of King Badon (1782-1819) and completed in Sakkaraj 1145 (AD 1783). The height of the whole edifice is 90 feet. For stucco carvings of Amarapura as an exterior decoration, one has to study them. On the south of the Shwe GU Gyi, there is Shwe GU Tha which is also a cave temple but it has the best for paintings for interior decoration.
Thabyedan Fort is just to the left of Inwa bridge on the Mandalay and which was built as a last ditch defense by the Myanmar before the third Anglo-Myanmar war.
The only place to find Gold Leaf making industry is in Mandalay. Sheets of gold are beaten into 2000 very thin gold leaves obtained from a tickle of 24 karat pure gold after seven hours of pounding in many different steps during the process. Which are cut into squares and sold to devotees to use for gilding images or stupa. This industry not being able to replace with modern machine and tourists have very good interest to this industry.
Also known as Ava, Inwa is located 20 kilometres southwest of Mandalay across the Myitnge River and was the capital of the Myanmar kingdom for nearly 1364. All the major buildings that were not destroyed during the earthquake of 1838 were transferred first to Amarapura and then to Mandalay when the capital moved. Only the 27-metre-high (90 feet) masonry Nan Myint watchtower, also known as the “learning tower of Ava” remains of the palace built by King Bagyidaw. The Bargaya teak monastery, famous for its 267 wooden pillars, can also still be seen. Mae Nu Oak Kyaung (Temple), excellent architecture of ancient Myanmar, Bagaya Wood Monastery is famous for its 267 teak pillars and intricate wood carving on the doors and walls. The leaning tower of Ava, climb to the top for good view cross the Arrawaddy to Sagaing.
Mingun Payagyi was supposed to be the world’s largest monument, however what stands today could better be described as the world’s largest pile of bricks. Located across majestic Ayeyarwady River, about 12 kilometres north of Mandalay, Mingun is famous as the home of the world’s second-largest ringing bell, weighing 90 tonnes, as well as a giant unfinished pagoda. A visit to Mingun invariably means a boat trip from Mandalay’s Gawwein jetty and takes about one hour upriver and 40 minutes downriver. With plenty of activity to see on the river, a boat trip to Mingun is a pleasant way to pass the morning or afternoon.
Get in Mandalay
International: There are some direct flights to Mandalay from International Airlines. Please check at How to travel to Myanmar.
Domestic: The domestic flights to Mandalay from other destinations are Yangon, Nyaung U (Bagan), Heho (Inle Lake), Keng Tong, Tachileik, Lashio, Kalay, Myitkyina, Putao and so on.
From YangonThere are several trains daily from Yangon.
From Lashio, Hsipaw, and Pwin Oo LwinThere are two trains daily from Pyin Oo Lwin and one from Lashio via Hsipaw and Pwin Oo Lwin. These trains are slow, crowded, but fascinating. The Pyin U Lwin - Hsipaw section includes the famous Gokteik Viaduct.
From MyitkyinaThis twenty-four hour journey is in old rolling stock.
From YangonThere is a night bus with air-con running into Mandalay.
From Inle Lake, Kalaw or other TownsThere are buses available along this route. The minibus in the day takes a slightly shorter route than the larger
RV Shwe Keinnery and other cruise runs daily from Bagan Gawwein jetty to Mandalay.
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