Mandalay was the last royal capital of Myanmar. Located over 600km north of Yangon on the east bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, the city has a population of over one million, and is the capital of Mandalay Division. Also the second-largest city in Myanmar and situated in the hot and dry central region of the country. Mandalay ancient name by Ratanapura( the gem city), it’s splendor of the golden age and still has great importance as cultural center. Mandalay is best known not only for its rich traditional, cultural and spiritual splendor but also exquisite handicraft such as hand-woven embroidery in silk and cotton, the incredible process of making gold leaves, wood and stone carving and bronze casting etc.
The most fascination places in the city are Mandalay Palace, Shwe Nan Daw Monastery; is famous for its intricate wood carvings, Maha-Muni Pagoda; it is regarded as the holiest Pagoda in Mandalay, Kuthodaw Pagoda; also called the largest book in the world and 230m height Mandalay Hill with the beautiful view of sunsets. There are several ancient capitals around Mandalay such as Amarapura, Sagaing, Ava and Mingun where Kongboung dynasty kings established their capitals respectively.
Amarapura is a southern suburb of Mandalay and lies on the left bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is also known as Taung-Myo (Southern Town). Founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783 as his new capital. In which visitor can walk on the world’s longest teak bridge; U Bain Bridge, 1208m long built since 1782 with 1700 over huge teak pillars. And can also visit the MahaGandaryon Monastery; the Buddhist University and observe the lunch process of thousand of monks. Another famous thing to see is the silk-weaving industry, which Myanmar people wear very proud to attend the cultural ceremonies with AchiekLongyi, from Amarapura.
Mingun located across the majestic Ayeyar-waddy River, about 12km north of Mandalay. Mingun is noted for its huge unfinished Pagoda and the world second largest ringing bell of 90 tons in weight and Mya TheindanPagoda, the best representation of the universe in Buddhism. A 45min boat trip to Mingun from Mandalay is very pleasant with plenty of life on the river to see.
Also known as Ava is located 20km southwest of Mandalay across the Myitnge River and was the capital of the Myanmar Kingdom for nearly 400 years. The most famous in Inwa is MaharAungMyay Bon Zan Monastery; which is a fine example of Myanmar masonry art and architecture. All the major building, which were not destroyed during the earthquake in 1838, had been transferred first to Amarapura and then to Mandalay. In palace only remains the 20m (90ft) high masonry Nan Myint watchtower, also known as the “learning tower of Ava”. Another interesting place in Inwa is Bargaya teak monastery, which is famous for its 267 wooden pillars.
Once an ancient, Sagainglies 21km south-west of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Sagaing is known as a meditation center “A Living Center of Buddhist Faith”, lays across theAyeyar-waddyRiver, an important religious center with about 600 Buddhist pagodas, temples and monasteries.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Also known as Maymyo,locatedat1040m bove sea level and 70km from Mandalay.
It is well known for its climate weather and colonial style houses with large compound and pine trees. Horse drawn royal carriages still play major role in transport means. Attraction places in PyinOoLwin are Botanical Garden, MahaAnt-Htoo-Kan-Thar Buddha Image, Pwe-kaukwaterfalls,Peik-Chin-Hmyaung Cave and Gok-hteik railway bridge.
A picturesque town on the Chindwin River, is Monywa with a typical un spoilt sites and it is only a 3hrs drive from 136km northwest Mandalay. Monywa serves as a major trade center for India and Burma through KalayMyo road and Chindwin river. Monywa attraction places areunusual Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land called MohnyinThanboddhay; biggest standing Buddha image in the world and longest reclining Buddha image. Not only that also famous for its Po Win Taung, Shwe Ba Taung where the entire mountain was carved into caves niches, staircases and Buddha Image.