Theme Week Myanmar – Mandalay

Thursday, 27 June 2019 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Mandalay Hill © Stefan Fussan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mandalay Hill © Stefan Fussan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mandalay is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar (Burma). Located 716 km (445 mi) north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, the city has a population of 1,225,553. Mandalay is the economic centre of Upper Burma and considered the centre of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan, in the past 20 years, has reshaped the city’s ethnic makeup and increased commerce with China. Despite Naypyidaw‘s recent rise, Mandalay remains Upper Burma’s main commercial, educational and health center.

  • Atumashi Monastery: The “Atumashi kyaung“, which literally means “inimitable vihara“, is also one of the well known sights. The original structure was destroyed by a fire in 1890 though the masonry plinth survived. It was indeed an inimitable one in its heyday. The reconstruction project was started by the government on 2 May 1995 and completed in June 1996.
  • Buddha’s Replica Tooth Relic Pagoda: One of the Buddha’s Sacred Replica Tooth Relics was enshrined in the Mandalay Swedaw Pagoda on Maha Dhammayanthi Hill in Amarapura Township. The pagoda was built with cash donations contributed by the peoples of Burma and Buddhist donors from around the world under the supervision of the State Peace and Development Council. The authorities and donors hoisted Buddha’s Replica Tooth Relic Pagoda Mandalay’s Shwe Htidaw (sacred golden umbrella), Hngetmyatnadaw (sacred bird perch vane) and Seinhpudaw (sacred diamond bud) on 13 December 1996.
  • Kuthodaw Pagoda (The World’s Biggest Book): Built by King Mindon in 1857, this pagoda modeled on the Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U, is surrounded by 729 upright stone slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tipiṭaka as edited and approved by the Fifth Buddhist council. It is popularly known as “World’s largest book” for its stone scriptures.
  • Kyauktawgyi Pagoda: Near the southern approach to Mandalay Hill stands the Kyauktawgyi Buddha image built by King Mindon in 1853–78. The Image was carved out of a huge single block of marble. Statues of 80 arahants are assembled around the Image, twenty on each side. The carving was completed in 1865.
  • Mahamuni Buddha Temple: The image of Gautama Buddha at Mahamuni Buddha Temple is said to have been cast in the life-time of the Gautama Buddha and that the Buddha embraced it seven times, thereby bringing it to life. Consequently, devout Buddhists hold it to be alive and refer to it as the Mahamuni Sacred Living Image. Revered as the holiest pagoda in Mandalay, It was built by King Bodawpaya in 1784. The image in a sitting posture is 12 feet and 7 inches (3.8 m) high. As the image was brought from Rakhine State, it was also called the Great Rakhine Buddha. The early morning ritual of washing the Face of Buddha Image draws a large crowd of devotees everyday. The Great Image is also considered as the greatest in Burma next to Shwedagon Pagoda. A visit to Mandalay is incomplete without a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda.
  • Mandalay Hill: The hill has for long been a holy mount. Legend has it that the Buddha, on his visit, had prophesied that a great city would be founded at its foot. Mandalay Hill, 230 metres in elevation, commands a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside. The construction of a motor road to reach the hill-top has already been finished.
  • Mandalay Palace: The whole magnificent palace complex was destroyed by a fire during World War II. However, the finely built palace walls, the city gates with their crowning wooden pavilions and the surrounding moat still represent an impressive scene of the Mandalay Palace, “Mya-nan-san-kyaw Shwenandaw”, which has been rebuilt using forced labor. A model of the Mandalay Palace, Nanmyint-saung and Mandalay Cultural Museum are located inside the Palace grounds.
  • Shwenandaw Monastery: Famous for its intricate wood carvings, this monastery is a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Palace. Actually, it was a part of the old palace later moved to its current site, close to Atumashi Monastery, by King Thibaw in 1880.
  • The Chinese Temple of Mandalay: The Chinese Temple, well known for its old artistic architectures and cultural artifacts, reflects Mandalay’s old history.
  • Yadanabon Zoological Gardens: A small zoo between the Mandalay Palace and Mandalay Hill. It has over 300 species and is notably the only zoo to have Burmese roofed turtles.

Ayeyarwady River at Mandalay © Bamarckk/cc-by-4.0 © flickr.com - HAI YANG/cc-by-sa-2.0 Mandalay cityscape seen from Mandaly Hill © Mrsoethuaung/cc-by-4.0 Mandalay Hill © flickr.com - Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0 Mandalay Hill © Stefan Fussan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Mandalay Royal Palace from Watch Tower © Hybernator Mandalar Thiri Sport Ground © Mayor mt/cc-by-sa-4.0 Atumashi Monastery © Jakub Hałun/cc-by-sa-4.0 Night view of Mandalay Hill © Mrsoethuaung/cc-by-4.0
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Mandalay cityscape seen from Mandaly Hill © Mrsoethuaung/cc-by-4.0
Mandalay is Burma’s cultural and religious center of Buddhism, having numerous monasteries and more than 700 pagodas. At the foot of Mandalay Hill sits the world’s official “Buddhist Bible”, also known as the world’s largest book, in Kuthodaw Pagoda. The styles of Mandalay Buddha Images and Buddha Statues were many since King Mandon, who was a devout Buddhist, and had filled Mandalay with them and through the years Mandalay Buddhist art became established as the pure art of Myanmar. There are 729 slabs of stone that together are inscribed with the entire Pāli canon, each housed in its own white stupa. The buildings inside the old Mandalay city walls, surrounded by a moat, which was repaired in recent times using prison labor, comprise the Mandalay Palace, mostly destroyed during World War II. İt is now replaced by a replica, Mandalay Prison and a military garrison, the headquarters of the Central Military Command (Culture of Myanmar).

Mandalay is the major trading and communications center for northern and central Burma<. Much of Burmese external trade to China and India goes through Mandalay. Among the leading traditional industries are silk weaving, tapestry, jade cutting and polishing, stone and wood carving, making marble and bronze Buddha images, temple ornaments and paraphernalia, the working of gold leaves and of silver, the manufacture of matches, brewing and distilling.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Mandalay, Wikitravel Mandalay, Wikivoyage Mandalay and Wikipedia Mandalay. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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