Mandalay , the last capital of the Myanmar King, is located in Central Myanmar, 668 km north of Yangon. Also known as Ratanabon naypyitaw(Meaning Gem City), it was built in 1857 by King Mindon. Today , it is also the commercial center with rail, road ,river and air links to all parts of the country.
Attractions and Around
Mandalay Hill, 203 meter in elevation, commands a magnificent view of city and surrounding country yard. The legend has it that the Buddha, on his visit, had made a prophecy that a great city would be founded at the foot of this Hill.
This beautifully build monastery was originally inside the palace compound .King Thibaw had move to its present site east of the palace in 1879 after his father’s death.
King Bodawpaya build this pagoda in 1784 to house the Mahamuni Buddha image brought from Rakhine State. Being the most revered Pagoda in Mandalay, the early morning ritual of washing the face of the Buddha’s image draws a daily crowd of devotees.
King Mindon build this pagoda in 1868, sorrounding with 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tipitaka text ( the Three Baskets of the Buddhist Pali canon) . It is often called the “World Biggest Book”.
Kyauktawgyi Pagoda (the Pagoda of the Great Marble Image,) also built in 1865, the Pagoda is so called because it houses a large image of the Buddha sculpted from a single block of beautiful Sagyin marble.
Other attractions are Sandamuni Pagoda, Eindawya Pagoda, Shwe In Bin Monastery, Mandalay Museum and Library, Zegyo Market and Silk Weaving Cottage Industry.
Some 11 km south of Mandalay is town of Amarapura. Lies on the left bank of the Ayarwaddy River. A suburb of Mandalay, it is also known as Taung-myo (Southern Town) or Myohaung (Old City) which is founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783 as his new capital. Amarapura means City of Immortality. Amarapura was the capital city of Myanmar, during the Konbaung Dynasty. It was founded by King Bodawpaya in 1782 AD, as the king transferred the capital from Innwa (or Ava). King Bagyidaw, grandson of Bodawpaya shifted the capital back to Innwa in 1823, but King Tharrawaddy his successor again took the capital back to Amarapura in 1837 and it remained as the capital until King Mindon built Mandalay in 1857 and shifted the capital there in 1860.
In-wa is another ancient capital , known as the Kingdom of In-wa during the second .
Today In-wa is a small town south of Amarapura.The site to see in In-wa included Nanmyint Watch Tower,MaHa Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Bagaya Monastery, Lacquerware Industry and In-wa Bridge spanning the Ayeyar waddy River.
Located on the western bank of the river Ayeyarwaddy, approximately 7 miles north of Mandalay. It is reached by ferryboats across the river and takes 1 hour for up-river and 40 minutes for down-river. It is famous for many Buddhist shrines, monasteries, meditation centres and monuments of historical and cultural importance. A boat trip to Mingun is pleasant with plenty of life on the river to see. It is about 11 miles from Sagaing and you can reach there by road. It takes about 30 minutes. And you can also travel to Mingun from Mandalay but you can get there by road. It is about 7 miles up river from Mandalay and you can be accessible only by boat via Gawwein jetty.
The journey takes 45 minutes.When you come along the motor way to Mingun from Sagaing, you will first arrive at Kandawgyi, one of the prominent big four in Mingun. Kandawgyi was formed while digging earth to make bricks for building of Mingun Pahtodawgyi. It was built by King Bodaw Badon in 1791. You will arrive at Mingun Pahtodawgyi from Kandawgyi .Now, we are here at the Mingun Pahtodawgyi from the top of the Pagoda you can view the scene of Mingun and Ayeyawady river. You can use this stair to climb to the top and there are all together 174 steps.
Sagaing lies 21km south-west of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing became the capital of an independent Shan kingdom around 1315 after the fall of Bagan. Its period of importance was short, for in 1364 the founder’s grandson, Thado Minbya, moved his capital across the river to Inwa. From 1760 to 1764, Sagaing was once again the capital. Today, Sagaing is known as a meditation centre. Myanmars all over the country would visit Sagaing for the purpose of religious retreat.
This one-time British hill town hideaway, about two hours drive from Mandalay, offers cool weather, eclectic architecture and stagecoaches. The town dates from the early 20th century and its main street is part of the famous Burma Road, an important route that leads north to the trading town of Lashio and beyond to the Chinese border. The street is an interesting place to walk about, lined with a mishmash of building styles; iron grillwork, balconies, chimneys and wood-carved decorations accent the architecture. The town’s clock tower, the Purcell Tower with its Big Ben chime, is said to be a present from Queen Victoria, identical to one in Capetown, South Africa. Close to Pyin Oo Lwin are several natural attractions, waterfalls and caves. Sports of major tourist interest include the Peik Chin Myaing Cave, which houses many Buddha images, and some models of Myanmar’s most revered pagodas. The cave lies in a beautiful setting with some waterfalls around. It is a favorite weekend destination for local tourists. Also of interest is the national Kandawgyi Botanical Garden. The garden, founded back in 1915, is home to a large variety of trees and flowers from Myanmar and abroad as well as numerous birds. What really makes Pyin Oo Lwin unique are brightly painted miniature stagecoaches drawn by lively teams of horses, which take the place of cars or taxis.