Every king of Myanmar founded his own capital. Mandalay was the last royal capital, founded in 1857. In the center is a huge square palace area, 2 km (1.2 miles) on a side, surrounded by a wall and a moat. There are four bridges across the moat, in the center of each side of the square. During World War II, it was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 - 1944. Most of the palace was destroyed, only one building, which had been moved out of the palace area before the war, survived. It is a beautiful wooden building with intricate wood carvings. It is the Golden Palace Monastery, built in 1857.

Mandalay has the largest book in the world. It is located in the Ku Tho Daw (Kuthodaw) pagoda. It consists of 730 leaves (1460 pages), with the Tipitaka Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism inscribed on them in gold. Each leaf is 107 cm (42") wide, 153 cm (60") tall, and 13 cm (5") thick, made of marble. It was built from 1860 - 1868. Each stone has 80 to 100 lines of inscription on each side in round Burmese script, chiseled out and originally filled in with gold ink. Each leaf is housed in its own building.

One of the largest monasteries in Burma is the Mahagandayone Monastery with some 1400 monks. Each day for lunch all monks assemble in long lines and slowly file into the dining areas. In total, Mandalay has some 150,000 monks.

One interesting building is a 2 km (1.2 miles) long wooden bridge made of teak.

Just outside of Mandalay on the other side of the river are the Mingun Pagoda, the Mingun Bell, and the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda, three very interesting buildings.

Traffic is heavy, just like any big city. It is mostly motorcycle traffic. Mandalay has much fewer traffic lights than you would expect.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Mandalay

View Sagaing Hills
View of Sagaing Hills outside Mandalay. (772k)
View Sagaing Hills
View of Sagaing Hills outside Mandalay. (750k)
View Temple Sagaing
View of a temple in Sagaing Hills. (860k)
Lion Statues Guarding
Lion statues guarding the entrance to a temple. (660k)
Small Stupa Mandalay
Small stupa in Mandalay. (1113k)
View U Bein
View of the U Bein Bridge. (646k)
Sunset Over Mandalay
Sunset over Mandalay. (608k)
Sunset Over Mandalay
Sunset over Mandalay. (597k)
Nothing Free Foreigners
Nothing is free for foreigners. (878k)

Mahamuni Pagoda (Gold Leaf Pagoda)

The center piece of the Mahamuni Pagoda is the Buddha statue covered with gold leaf. Only men are allowed to apply gold leaf to the Buddha statue. According to legend, the origins of the statue go back to the lifetime of Buddha. It is one of only five statues made of Buddha during his lifetime. Now the pagoda is part of the Mahamuni monastery, a teaching monastery with about 400 monks/students.

Pagoda Mahamuni Monastery
Pagoda in the Mahamuni monastery. (717k)
Large Statues Thai
Large statues in Thai style, war trophy from Thailand. (905k)
Large Statue Thai
Large statue in Thai style, war trophy from Thailand. (861k)
Large Bronze Statues
Large bronze statues in the Mahamuni monastery. They are believed to have healing powers when rubbed. They were originally Khmer statues, found at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. (736k)
Large Bronze Statue
Large bronze statue in the Mahamuni monastery. (862k)
Large Bronze Statues
Large bronze statues in the Mahamuni monastery. (867k)
Large Bronze Statue
Large bronze statue of a three-headed elephant in the Mahamuni monastery. (708k)
Description History Bronze
Description of the history of the bronze statues. (858k)
Ceremonial Bell Mahamuni
Ceremonial bell in the Mahamuni monastery. (831k)
View Buddha Statue
View of the Buddha statue in the Mahamuni Pagoda, with several men applying gold leaf. (984k)
Close-up Gold-leaf Buddha
Close-up of the Gold-leaf Buddha statue with worshipers applying gold leaf. (1062k)
Development Gold Leaf
Development of the gold leaf cover of the Buddha statue. (787k)
Development Gold Leaf
Development of the gold leaf cover of the Buddha statue. (994k)

Mahagandayone Monastery

The Mahagandayone Monastery is one of the largest in Myanmar with about 1400 monks. The daily lunch ritual is watched everyday by hordes of tourists (including me during my visit).

Most workers in the monastery donate their time to the monastery, including the kitchen staff and contractors.

Water Jars Monastery
Water jars in the monastery. (706k)
Building Tables Monastery
Building tables in the monastery. (820k)
Drinking Water Station
Drinking water station in the monastery. (678k)
Monastery Kitchen
In the monastery kitchen. (917k)
Monastery Kitchen
In the monastery kitchen. (757k)
Preparing Midday Meal
Preparing the midday meal in the monastery. (940k)
Novices Lined To
Novices lined up to go to the midday meal. (645k)
Monks Lined To
Monks lined up to go to the midday meal. (838k)
Monks Lined To
Monks lined up to go to the midday meal. (759k)
Monks Lined To
Monks lined up to go to the midday meal. (589k)
Novice Waiting Midday
Novice waiting for the midday meal. (537k)
Monk Waiting Midday
Monk waiting for the midday meal. (613k)
Monk Waiting Midday
Monk waiting for the midday meal. (557k)
Dining Hall Monastery
Dining hall in the monastery. (752k)
List Donors Monastery
List of donors to the monastery. (875k)

U Min Thonze Pagoda, Sagaing Hills

A large pagoda complex with in Sagaing Hills, dating from 1364.

Outside U Min
Outside U Min Thonze pagoda. (757k)
Outside U Min
Outside U Min Thonze pagoda. (733k)
Details Pagoda Buddhist
Details of the pagoda with Buddhist flag. (634k)
Inside U Min
Inside the U Min Thonze Pagoda. (995k)
Buddha Statues U
One of the Buddha statues in the U Min Thonze pagoda. (1013k)
Buddha Statue U
Buddha statue in the U Min Thonze pagoda. (937k)
Buddha Statue U
Buddha statue in the U Min Thonze pagoda. (1054k)
Buddha Statue U
Buddha statue in the U Min Thonze pagoda. (1344k)
Close-up Buddha Statue
Close-up of the Buddha statue in the U Min Thonze pagoda. (1198k)
U Min Thonze
U Min Thonze Pagoda. (722k)
Umbrella Top U
Umbrella on top of the U Min Thonze Pagoda. (594k)

Soon Oo Pone Shin Pagoda, Sagaing Hills

A large pagoda complex with in Sagaing Hills, dating from 1315.

Decorated Doorway Soon
Decorated doorway in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (770k)
Building Soon Oo
Building in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (673k)
Soon Oo Pone
Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (722k)
Soon Oo Pone
Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (731k)
Soon Oo Pone
Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (697k)
Umbrella Top Soon
Umbrella on top of the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (672k)
Buddha Statue Soon
Buddha statue in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (1043k)
Buddha Statue Soon
Buddha statue in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda with flashing lights. (986k)
Buddha Statue Soon
Buddha statue in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda. (1173k)
Buddha Statue Soon
Buddha statue in the Soon Oo Pone Shin pagoda with worshiping monk. (909k)
Cable Car Brings
The cable car brings donated gold leaf to the pagoda, where it is used to gold plate the top of the pagoda. (1044k)

Mingun Pagoda and Bell

View Unfinished Mingun
View of the unfinished Mingun Pagoda, showing damage from the earthquake. (991k)
Large Crack Mingun
Large crack in the Mingun Pagoda. (806k)
Entrance Doors Mingun
One of the entrance doors to the Mingun Pagoda. (1069k)
View Mingun Pagoda
View of the Mingun Pagoda from the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (526k)
Wall Around Mingun
Wall around the Mingun Pagoda with decorated drains. (948k)
Full View Mingun
Full view of the Mingun Bell. (748k)
Support Mingun Bell
Support of the Mingun Bell. (744k)
Close-up Support Mingun
Close-up of the Support of the Mingun Bell. (790k)

Mya Thein Tan Pagoda

Lion Guarding Way
Lion guarding the way to the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (910k)
View Mya Thein
View of the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (603k)
View Mya Thein
View of the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (651k)
Mya Thein Tan
On the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (627k)
Detail Mya Thein
Detail on the Mya Thein Tan Pagoda. (680k)

Ku Tho Daw (Kuthodaw) pagoda

View Small Pagodas
View of some of the small pagodas that house the individual leaves of the book. (1128k)
View Small Pagodas
View of some of the small pagodas that house the individual leaves of the book. (657k)
View Small Pagodas
View of some of the small pagodas that house the individual leaves of the book. (704k)
Pages
One of the pages. (892k)

Mandalay Palace

Model Palace Area
Model of the palace area. (849k)
Moat Around Palace
The Moat around the palace with Sagaing Hill in the background. (622k)
View Palace Area
View of the palace area. (784k)
View Largest Palace
View of the largest palace building. (877k)
Display Canon Palace
Display canon in the palace. (1155k)
Smaller Palace Buildings
Smaller palace buildings. (900k)
Larger Palace Buildings
Larger palace buildings. (706k)
Palace Buildings
Palace buildings. (760k)
Close-up Palace Buildings
Close-up of one of the palace buildings. (740k)
Largest Palace Buildings
One of the largest of the palace buildings. (708k)
Tower Palace Area
Tower in the palace area. (556k)
Statues Last Royal
Statues of the last royal couple. (841k)
Golden Palace Monastery
Golden Palace Monastery. (940k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (1196k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (1173k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (868k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (588k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (917k)
Wood Carvings Golden
Wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (939k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (1037k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (1144k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (917k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (871k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (816k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (843k)
Details Wood Carvings
Details of the wood carvings on the Golden Palace Monastery. (715k)
Inside Golden Palace
Inside the Golden Palace Monastery. (839k)

This page contains 103 pictures

Myanmar
Main page for Myanmar

Page last updated on Sun Mar 10 16:07:39 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


Mandalay on geichhorn.com


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Retired
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