Rising 240 meters above the surrounding flat area, Mandalay Hill is the city’s major pilgrimage site. You can see why. Even from the ground below, you can see it decorated with numerous temples and pagodas, of different shapes, sizes and colors. You too can make a pilgrimag here and explore the mysticism and wonders that await you up this hill. This is perhaps the best place to start a tour of the city, offering an excellent view of the city as well.
Say hello to two massive chintes. In case you are wondering what they are, these guys are lion-like mythical creatures who will greet you before your climb up the hill. Be warned, some effort will be required to get to the top. But the experience is rewarding. Don’t forget the temples, pagodas and views we mentioned about earlier. And to ease things a bit, there are many stops, giving you ample time to rest up. Ready for those 1729 steps?
After a short climb, you’ll come across U Khanti’s temple. What’s significant about this place is that three fragments of Buddha’s bones were once kept here. Continue up and meet an unconventional Buddha image. What’s strange about it is that he is pointing with his right hand. What’s the reason? He is pointing to where the royal palace will be constructed; a prophecy in which Buddha proclaimed a learning center will be built 2,400 years after his death. And yes, you guessed it, it was eventually built. Prophecies do come true. Another interesting site up in the hills is of an ogress, offering her own breast to the Buddha. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.
Continue up, up and up until you reach Sutaungpyei Pagoda. Take a breather champ because this is the top. From here, enjoy panoramic views of Mandalay that stretches far out into the horizon. Recognize anything from up here? We’re sure you can make out the city’s wall and moat. Kuthodaw Pagoda and its 729 satellite stupas (pages that comprise the world’s largest book) is quite obvious. The Irrawaddy is to your west and the Shan Yoma mountain range is to the east.
Hurry up! Myanmar is fast becoming one of the world’s ‘must go’ places. Experience the country with our extended program, aimed at presenting you with all the main stops. Included are less-visited sites and opportunities for you to be part of the culture and lifestyle. That is the Exotissimo way.
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