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Myanmar Destinations

Yangon | Bagan | Mandalay | Inle Lake | Kyaikhtiyo

Mandalay & Vicinity

Mandalay (City of Gems)

Mandalay is located in the central dry zone of Myanmar by the Ayeyarwaddy river. Mandalay lies along the Sagaing Fault, a tectonic plate boundary between the India and Sunda plates. It was the royal capital of the last monarchy of Myanmar. The city earned its name after the 236m high Mandalay Hill. Mandalay is famous for its beautiful wood curving and masterpieces of Myanmar Masonry. Mandalay is Myanmar's Religious center of Buddhism, having numerous monasteries and more than 700 pagodas. At the foot of Mandalay hill sits the world's official "Buddhist Canon", also known as the world's largest book, in Kuthodaw pagoda. There are 729 slabs of stone that together are inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon, each housed in its own white stupa. With its royal palace and impressive moat sitting at the foot of a high, pagoda-topped hill, Mandalay still evokes images of a romantic, bygone era. Nearby Mandalay Hill is crowned by a pagoda from which visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and surrounding countryside.

Inwa (Ava)

Of all the many capital cities of Myanmar, Innwa was once achieved international renown. Even the whole nation of Myanmar became well known in England, France and America as the Kingdom of Innwa during the early Konbaung period in the 19th century. Innwa lies at the confluence of the Ayeyarwaddy and Dothtavati Rivers just a few miles south of present Mandalay. Inn flourished for nearly 300 years bringing fourth its culture and literature to the highest pitch. In 1364, Innwa got its first of four turns as Myanmar capital when Sagaing across the river fell to the Shan. Innwa means "mouth of the lake" but the site has also been known less modestly as "City of Gems".


Amarapura lies to the south west of Mandalay and north of Innwa. It was founded by King Bodawpaya in 1785. After forty years, King Bagyidaw shifted the capital to Innwa , and Amarapura was left desolated. It was not long after that King Tharrawaddy restored the old capital in 1838. The descendents of the second founder of the city remained in the capital for another 59 years, until King Mindon established a new capital at the foot of Mandalay Hill.


It is home to unique pagodas. It is a compact river site village that makes a popular half-day excursion form Mandalay by boat. The places to see in Mingun are Mingun Pahtodawgyi (unfinished pagoda with the world largest pile of bricks), Mingun bell weighing 55555 viss (90 tonnes, the world largest uncracked bell), Hsinbyume Pagoda surrounded by 7 wavy whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt.Meru.


Sagaing would be easily overshadowed by its more historically and culturally famous neighbours: Mandalay, Amarapura and Innwa. Sagaing lies on the right bank of Ayeyarwaddy river, at the opposite of Mandalay. It was founded by King Athinkaya Saw Yun, Son of Sihasu in 1315 A.D., after the fall of Bagan. There are a great number of stupas, monasteries and nunneries in the area of Sagaing. As you across the Ayeyarwaddy on the busy new bridge, Sagaing's uncountable white-and-gold stupas shinning under the sun on a series of hillocks that rise behind the flat down.










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