Mandalay was the last capital of the third Myanmar Empire. It is located 668 km north from Yangon. Mandalay’s value lies in that it is a repository of late Myanmar history. Mandalay embodies all the elements of Myanmar’s ancient educational, social and cultural system. Mandalay is the home and guardian of the best traditions of Myanmar music and dance .The Mandalayans preserves the proper spoken language of Myanmar. Symbols of religion are richer in Mandalay than in any of the living Myanmar city. It is the principal centre for studies of Buddhist literature. The other tourist attractions are Mandalay Hill, Mya-nan-san-kyaw Golden Palace, the old city walls and the moat; Mahamuni Image of Buddha, which is the most revered and sacred site of Mandalay; Kyauk-taw-gyi Buddha, white Marble huge seated image of the Buddha carved from a single block of stone; Kuthodaw Pagoda with the entire Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 marble slabs, known as the “World’s Biggest Book”; Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery), a superb example of a traditional Myanmar wooden monastery.
One account states that during the reign of King Mindon, steamers began to come up to INNWA (AVA) and Amarapura. Since both towns were on the bank of the AYEYARWADDY(IRRAWADDY) RIVER, it would have been possible for the Europeans to bring artillery pieces up-river aboard the trading ships and to shell the then capital of AMARAPURA. King Mindon therefore decided that the capital should be moved some distance from the river, beyond the range of enemy fire. This must have been the original reason of founding Mandalay though there were some other reasons.
Mandalay Royal Palace
The Mandalay Hill is situated to the north-east corner of the Mandalay Royal Palace. It lies from north to south, its altitude being 236.5m above sea level and its height going up to 167.64m.
On 17 March, 1945, during the air raid of the British forces against the Japanese, the Royal Palace was ruined into ashes.
With the objective of re-establishing the milestone in Myanmar tradition and ancient times, when Myanmar had their own monarchs, their own royal palace and their own soverignity, the Royal Palace has been renovated and restored faithfully into its original structure. The 89 main halls were re-built with reference to the original photographs, pictures, palm-leaf manuscripts with reference to the original photographs, pictures, palm leaf manuscripts about the royal apartments and the miniature model of the royal palace. On 18-9-96, the complete construction of the Mya Nan San Kyaw the Golden Palace was successfully celebrated.Mandalay City Development Committee has been undertaking the task of removing the pond scum of the moat as the cleaning work of the royal moat, which bears a grace and a pride to the city : 4 large-scale pond scum-removing machines, 3 small pond scum-removing machines and 62 appointed workers remove about seven tons of pound scum per day. Activities such as mowing and making the crash barriers even, replacing the dead plants with new ones, and giving care to the growth of the plants have been routine tasks.
The Sanda Muni Cast Buddha Image
The Sanda Muni Buddha Image is situated to the east of the Kyauktaw Gyi Pagoda. It was cast by King Bodawpaya before the founding of the city Mandalay. During the time of building the Great Mingun Pagoda, during King Bodawpaya’s temporary reign in Nan Taw Kyun ( “the Royal Palace Island” ), the image was cast out of 18563.94kg of iron in M.E 1164, and was carried reverently to the Royal City of Amarapura.
Kandawgyi Lake of Mandalay & Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge
It was formerly known as the Tet Thay In. It is situated in west Than Lyet Maw, Chan Mya Thazi Township. It covers 322.43 hectares. It is 3657.6m long from north to south and 975.36m from east to west.
In the olden times, the Tet Thay In was a natural pond of used water and sewage of the native people, where the Shwe Ta Chaung and the Thingaza Chaung merged.
The Tet Thay In, which has been cleared up, was named Mandalay Kan Taw Gyi Lake on 9 July 1997.
The modern housing project was implemented. Starting from 29. 2. 2000, the Mye Padetha Kyun Project has been systematically carried out.
There floats the Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge in Mandalay Kan Taw Gyi. It was first situated above the moat waters to the south east of the Mandalay Royal Battlemented wall in 1990_a royal barge built out of the blending of the former Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge and the modern Myanmar handicrafts. Today the royal barge has been moved to a more proper site, i.e., the Mandalay Kan Taw Gyi Lake. It was renovated on 25. 2. 99, and it was completed on 11. 2. 2001.
Air - There are daily flights from Yangon to Mandalay via Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, and Myanmar Air. Mandalay now has an International Airport, so there are also flights from other countries directly landing to Mandalay. Bus and Express - There are daily local express from Yangon to Mandalay and many other parts of the country. Taxi - Pickups and vans are available to travel around Mandalay, Amarapura, Inwa, and Sagaing. Train - Mandalay has a new Yadanarbon Central Railway Station in downtown area. It is a seven-storey complex, including two floors devoted to a hotel. The old station is on the further south of the new one. There are daily schedules from Yangon to Mandalay. Motorbike - Motorbikes can be seen everywhere in Mandalay. Travelling by motorbike can be very convenient in local places. So, motorbikes can be rented mostly everywhere in Mandalay. Boat - The Inland Water Transport office is located at the Gawwein Jetty at the western end of 35th Street. Bicycle - There are several places downtown where you can rent bicycles.
Shopping in Mandalay
Mandalay is full of variety to do shopping. The new Mandalay Zaycho is the main market place in Mandalay. You can get almost anything from there. Things to shop are Acheik (Mandalay Silk Longyi), Cotton clothing, Hto Moat (greasy cakes), Laphet (Pickled tea leaves), Kadipar slippers (Velvet Slippers), Silverware, Lacquerware, Jewelry, gems and more.
Entertainment in Mandalay
Mandalay is a busy city which is the central trade centre of Myanmar. There are cinema halls, beauty salons, spas and karaoke lounge in the most populated part of the city. There are also many well-known astrologers and palmist in this city. Media - The city dwellers can enjoy listening to the radio progammes broadcast by M.B.S and watching the TV channels of MRTV and the Myawaddy. The newspapers the Light of Myanmar and Kye Mon are published and distributed by the presses of Mandalay for Upper Myanmar.
Food in Mandalay
Mandalay is a city with great historical heritage. Many traditional food can be tasted in this city.