Such a romantic and exotic name like Mandalay should evoke images of Burma old; charming and…exotic. Well, it still holds true today! But you’d be surprised to know that the city is not an ancient one at all. In fact, it is just a recent establishment, having only been founded in 1857. But lots of Burma’s history, heritage and flair are to be found here.
Just like many other capitals before and after it, Mandalay was founded because the king at the time wanted to have his capital where he wanted it. The reason being is to fulfill an ancient prophecy that a city in that exact place would come into existence on the occasion of the 2400th Jubilee of Buddhism.
The city’s full of cool attractions. Want to see the world’s largest book? Mandalay is the place. The volume we’re talking about is at Kuthodaw Pagoda located at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The mentioned scriptures contain the Tripitaka, Theravada Buddhism’s most sacred text. It is all in 729 stupas and written in 1460 stone pages, each being 107 centimeters wide, 1.5 meters tall and almost 13 centimeters thick. That’s some big book! And truly deserving of its Guinness World record status. And speaking of world records, Sandamuni Pagoda is home to the world’s largest iron Buddha statue.
Once here in Mandalay, you can’t miss out on the aforementioned hill of the same name. It is a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists and is home to a myriad of pagodas, temples and monasteries. The view on the hill top is very impressive, however you must overcome the challenging set of stairs. Or if you do not feel like to climb up, you can always take a ride on the pick-up to ease your trip uphill.
You can’t complete your experience here without a stop at Mandalay Palace, the last royal stronghold of the country’s monarch. It follows a strict traditional Burmese architectural design and should make you wonder as to how things were back them in the late 1800’s.
Not too far from Mandalay is Mahamuni Pagoda. What’s here? None other than the statue claimed to bear the exact resemblance of Buddha himself, carved while he was meditating.
A trip to Myanmar is a rewarding experience. The country is still relatively untouched and offers you a chance to experience one of the region’s most charming and interesting countries. For first time visitors, Exotissimo would like to suggest the Essential Myanmar tour. This is the ultimate Burmese trip, designed to show you everything that makes Myanmar the charming and exotic country that it is. But hurry! Word about the country’s unspoiled beauty is getting out there.
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