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Newsletter of June 2011
 

:: Mandalay ::

   

Location

Mandalay Division is situated in central Myanmar, adjoining Sagaing Division in the North, Shan State in the East, Bago Division and Kayin State in the South, and Sagaing and Magway Divisions in the West. The area of Mandalay Division is 14,295 square miles.

Population

:

Mandalay Division is the second most populous state/division in Myanmar with almost 1.2 million residents.

Tribes

:

The majority of the population is Bamar, followed by small number of Shan, Danu, Lisu and Palaung tribes residing in the eastern area. There is also a small population of Leway and Pyinmana tibes living in the Plain Chin (Asho Chin) region of Mandalay. National races such as Kachin, Kayin and Chin also live in the division.

Religion

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Mainly Buddhists; but there are also Hindus, Muslims and Christians within the region.

Dialect 

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The Myanmar language is mainly spoken.


Things to See

Maha Muni Pagoda

This Pagoda has a Buddha image with a gold crown decorated with precious gems including diamonds, jade, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Originally located at the old capital of Amarapura, the Maha Muni was relocated to Mandalay after the 1884 fire.

 

Shwe In Bin Kyaung (Monastery)

This large and graceful wooden monastery was built by two wealthy Chinese merchants in 1895. The wood carved ornamentation along the balustrades and roof cornices is exquisite, and it is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Mandalay.

 

Royal Palace

King Mindon, Myanmar's second last king, shifted his capital from Amarapura to Mandalay to fulfill an old prophecy. He built this palace on a site carefully chosen by astrological calculations. It was known as the Golden Palace and built of teakwood on a brick platform covered with gold and vermilion.


Maha Law Ka Marazein or Kutho-Daw Pagoda

In literal Myanmar, Kutho-Daw Gyi means the Great Royal Bounty. This pagoda was constructed in 1857 by King Mindon and it is similar to the Shwezigone Pagoda in Bagan (Nyaung U). It also has the world's largest book of Buddhist scripts.

 

Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill is a natural focus for the city, offering a panoramic view of Mandalay and surrounding plain. Most people begin their visit to Mandalay by climbing the hill.

 

Sanda Muni Pagoda

The Sanda Muni contains a bronze image of Buddha cast in 1802 under the patronage of King Bodaw (AD 1782-1819). King Mindon brought the image from Amarapura to Mandalay.


Atumashi Kyaung  

The Atumashi Kyaung means Incomparable Monastery, and it was built about the same time as the Kuthodaw pagoda. This monastery is famous for its many ecclesiastical conventions.

 

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda

King Mindon gained merit by having the huge Buddha image in this pagoda carved from a single piece of white marble from the Sagyin hills. The King wanted this image to be similar to the one in the Ananda Pagoda in Bagan.

 

Mandalay Palace Cultural Museum

Opened at the west Zaytawom Hall, in the Myanansankyaw Shwe Nandaw, in 1996, this museum mainly displays articles and artifacts relating to the royalty and the Konbaung Dynasty.

 

Around Mandalay

Innwa

Formerly known as Ava, Inwa is half-hour car drive and ferry crossing. In Inwa transport is mainly by horse cart.

 

1. Htupayon Pagoda

The King Narapatigyi (1443-1469) built this pagoda and also a temporary wooden bridge across the river for the thousands of citizens to attend the pagoda's Hti-hoisting ceremony.

 

2. Aungmyekawka Pagoda

This sandstone pagoda was built in 1783 to resemble the Shwezigone Pagoda of

Bagan (Nyaung U).

 

3. Datpaungsu Pagoda

The sacred relics of the former pagodas were removed by the British to allow construction of railway lines. Those pagodas were then placed at the Datpaungsu pagoda. Datpaungsu means collection of relics in Myanmar.

 

4. Maha Aung Myae Bonzan Monastery

King Bagyidaw and his queen built this monastery in 1818 for the royal abbot, Nyaung Gan Sayadaw. The monastery is built brick and stucco, unlike most monasteries which were built of wood and prone to destruction by fire.

 

5. Inwa Bridge

The original Inwa bridge across the Ayeyarwaddy River on the road to Sagaing was one kilometer long. The bridge was opened in 1934 but demolished in 1942.

Amarapura

1. U Bein (or U-Pein) Bridge

The Atumashi Kyaung means Incomparable Monastery, and it was built about the same time as the Kuthodaw pagoda. This monastery is famous for its many ecclesiastical conventions.


2. Kyauk Taw Gyi (Amarapura)

In 1847 King Bagan erected this pagoda, which is a reproduction of the Ananda Temple in Bagan. The Buddha's image in this pagoda is carved from a single block of marble.

Mingun

 

1. Mya Thein Dan Pagoda

In 1816 King Bagyidaw built this pagoda in 1816 before he acceded to the throne. He built it as a memorial to of his late chief queen, Hsinbyume.

 

2. Pahto Daw Gyi

Before overthrowing the former king and seizing the throne, King Bodawpaya took refuge at Mingun. There made a vow that he would implement four religious projects once he became a king, and established this pagoda.

 

3. Mingun Bell

Although King Bodawpaya did not complete the construction of his pagoda in his lifetime, he did complete the construction of the Mingun Bell. The local people donated metal utensils from their homes to help provide the bronze needed to smelt the bell.

Sagaing

 

1. Soon-Oo Ponnyashin pagoda

This pagoda is located on one of the 37 hilltops of Sagaing. The hill is named Nga-Pha hill because it resembles a frog. U Ponnya who lived in the Pintaya dynasty under King Tazeeshin Thihathu built this pagoda.

 

2. Thabyedan Fort

This fort is located near Inwa Bridge on the Mandalay side of the Ayeyawady River. It was the last fort built to defend Mandalay during the third Anglo-Myanmar war.

3. Sagaing Hill

This fort is located near Inwa Bridge on the Mandalay side of the Ayeyawady River. It was the last fort built to defend Mandalay during the third Anglo-Myanmar war.

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