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Mandalay & Environment

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Mandalay

Established : around 200 years ago
Location Latitude : 21° 58' N, Longitude: 96° 04' E
Temperature : Min 10 'C - Max 43.3 'C
Population : over 1 million

Mandalay is the old capital of Myanmar with the pure culture, was outstanding in the past. It is situated about 600 kilometers north of Yangon on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river. It is the second largest city in the country. Today, it is a major trading and communication center in the northern and central Myanmar. Buddhist Sasana, Myanmar traditional arts and crafts, with the life span of one hundred and forty two years, a city which abounds in historical sites, cultural memorials and Buddhist edifices.

MAHA MYAT MUNI BUDDHA IMAGE

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Brief Information
Located at the southwest of the town, the Mahamuni Buddha Image is highly venerated. The 4m high-seated image is cast in Bronze and weigh 6.5 tons, on which a crown is decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Mahamuni Buddha Image was being cast in front of the Buddha himself and some say that Mahamuni Buddha Image is the most look-alike portrait of Buddha himself. The image has completely covered with 15 cm thick gold and original shape is distorted.

Detailed History
Maha Myat Muni, or Phaya Gyi is the most revered Buddha image in Mandalay. It is the most ancient Buddha image in Myanmar. It was cast in the life-span of Lord Buddha in the seated posture of relaxed deportment, namely Bumi Phasa Mudras, symbolic of His Conquest of Mara.

In B.C 123, in the reign of King Sanda Thuriya, Monarch of Rakhine-Dharyawaddy, and carry the Image reverently so as to enshrine it at the present site. It took four months to carry the image reverently across the Rakhine Yoma Ranges, by inland route and by waterway a tough and rough journey indeed. The Height of the Maha Muni Buddha Image is 8 Cubits and 1 Maik (3.83m). The altar is 2.13m high. There, 2 bronze Siamese images, 3 bronze lion images and 1 bronze three headed Ayeyawun elephants are housed and displayed in the precinct on the left side of the northern exit passage. Whoever visits Mandalay from local areas or from abroad unfailingly come and pay homage to the Maha Muni Buddha Image. In the precinct of the Phayagyi is located the " Maha Buddha-Win Beikman ", the Museum of the Life of Buddha. It is a many-tiered building with Myanmar architectural finials. It houses a scenic map showing in old and current terms the spread of Theravada Buddhism, centered in central India, Buddha's birthplace, famous religious edifices in various lands, the routes of Lord Buddha on itinerary, and the routes of King Asoka's sending Buddhist missions to nine regions of nine countries in A.D 3rd century. Illustrations are displayed, which indicate the Four Noble Sites of Lord Buddha, namely, His birthplace, the site where He attained the Enlightenment, the site where he passed away.

The Buddha Images, representing various countries where Buddhism prospers well, and the Buddha Images revered through successive eras are exhibited in the forms of photographs, paintings and sculptures. Not only Buddhists but also foreigners studying Buddhism pay a visit to this museum. On the left side of the eastern passage, in the precinct of the pagoda, is the Sanctuary Pond of Tortoises and on the right side, the Sanctuary Pond of Fish.

KUTHODAW PAGODA

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The pagoda itself was built as part of the traditional foundations of the new royal city which also included a pitakat taik or library for religious scriptures, but King Mindon wanted to leave a great work of merit for posterity meant to last five millennia after the Gautama Buddha who lived around 500 BC. When the British invaded southern Burma in the mid-19th century, Mindon Min was concerned that Buddhist dhamma (teachings) would also be detrimentally affected in the North where he reigned. As well as organizing the Fifth Buddhist council in 1871, he was responsible for the construction in Mandalay of the world's largest book, consisting of 729 large marble tablets with the Tipitaka Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism inscribed on them in gold. One more was added to record how it all came about, making it 730 stone inscriptions in total.

The marble was quarried from Sagyin Hill 32 miles (51 km) north of Mandalay, and transported by river to the city. Work began on 14 October 1860 in a large shed near Mandalay Palace. The text had been meticulously edited by tiers of senior monks and lay officials consulting the Tipitaka (meaning "three baskets", namely Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka) kept in royal libraries in the form of peisa or palm leaf manuscripts. Scribes carefully copied the text on marble for stonemasons. Each stone has 80 to 100 lines of inscription on each side in round Burmese script, chiseled out and originally filled in with gold ink. It took a scribe three days to copy both the obverse and the reverse sides, and a stonemason could finish up to 16 lines a day. All the stones were completed and opened to the public on 4 May 1868.

MANDALAY PALACE

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Brief Information
Mandalay Palace was the first palace to be built in Mandalay, by King Mindon when he shifted his capital from Amarapura in 1861, to fulfill an old prophecy. It was built of teak wood on raised brick plinth gilded with gold and vermillion.

Detailed History
As Mandalay was the last seat of Myanmar royalty, many things in Mandalay have to be associated with the palace. During a century or so under the British rule, the chief symbols of sovereign, independent Myanmar were the royal palace, the moat and the walls around it - the pride and glory of Mandalay as well as the whole country.

The Mandalay palace was destroyed by the Allied bombing during the world war 2, leaving only the moat and the city walls to remind the Myanmar people of their olden, golden days. The whole palace complex has now been reconstructed, partially restoring the glory of the old Myanmar and linking it with the new.

SHWEKYIMYIN MONASTERY

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and was established in 1857. It lies on the east bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and in the upper part of Myanmar. Mandalay has the Royal Palace of the last Konbaung Dynasty. Mandalay inherits many cultural heritage from the ancient Myanmar Kingdoms and beautiful places to visit.

ATUMASHI MONASTERY

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Brief Information
Atumashi Monastery is located at the North Eastern part of the Mandalay Palace. Its only about 10 minutes drive from the royal palace. It was one of the King’s last great religious construction project and considered one of Southeast Asia’s most magnificent buildings. It originally contained a very large, almost 30 ft (9 m), image of the Buddha made from the king’s lacquered silk clothing.

Detailed History
The Atumashi Kyaung meaning Incomparable Monastery (Maha Atulawaiyan Kyaungdawgyi), was originally built in 1857 by King Mindon (1853-1879), who had founded his new capital of Upper Burma at Mandalay just a few years earlier in 1855. It was one of the King’s last great religious construction project. The original Atumashi was a magnificent wooden structure with considerable exterior stucco and set on a high platform reached by a formal ceremonial staircase. Instead of the traditional “pyatthat” (graduated wooden spires of decreasing size) and multi-roof design of traditional monastic buildings, the Atumashi was a huge grandiose structure surrounded by five graduated rectangular terraces. It was considered one of Southeast Asia’s most magnificent buildings.

It originally contained a very large, almost 30 ft (9 m), image of the Buddha made from the king’s lacquered silk clothing. There were numerous treasures within the structure, including a large diamond set in the forehead of the Buddha, four complete sets of the Tripikata (the ‘three baskets’ of the Buddhist sacred texts), and much more. When the British annexed the city and Upper Burma in 1885, the large diamond vanished, perhaps taken by the British or other marauders. The building and its entire contents burned down in 1890.

For many years the ruins of the building lay open to the elements. Stumps of the charred teak pillars, a grand staircase and some colonnaded walls remained. The area was cleared in the 1990s and was rebuilt according to the original plans in 1996 by the Burmese archaeological department with the use of convict labor. While somewhat impressive, it does not come close to recreating the magnificence of the original building. The Atumashi Kyaung is near the Kuthodaw Pagoda, built at the same time, and next door to the Shwenandaw.

KYAUKTAWGYI PAGODA

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda means the Pagoda of the Great Marble Image. It is also known as Maha Thetkya Marazain Pagoda. Kyauktawgyi Pagoda built by King Mindon stands at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The Image was carved out of a huge single block of marble. It took three years from 1863 to 1865.

The Pagoda is so-called because it houses a large image of the Buddha sculpted from a single block of beautiful Sagyin marble. In the brick pyathats on the mahayan wall were figures of 80 arahantas. At the four corners were grown Bodhi trees from Sri Lanka. Now only one is left in the north-west. After the king’s demise. The Saopha of Nyaungshwe built its gantakuti temple and a tazaung for pilgrims there.

SANDAMUNI PAGODA

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Brief Information
Sandamuni Pagoda is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and bears a resemblance to the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda because of the large number of slender whitewashed ancillary stupas on the grounds. It is also famous for the Iron Buddha Sandamani cast and this was the seventh and last of the many journeys of the Iron Buddha, frequently moved because of wars and the shift of capitals in the nineteenth century. Accompanying this largest solid iron Buddha image were eighty statues of saint disciples, which are now sheltered in mini-stupas around the pagoda. The statue reportedly weighs 40,924.8 lbs or 18.562 metric tons. It now is covered with gold foil attached by believers over the decades.

Detailed History
The Sandamuni Pagoda (also Sandamani, because it contains the largest iron Buddha, the �Sandamani�), or Paya, is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and bears a resemblance to the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda because of the large number of slender whitewashed ancillary stupas on the grounds. The pagoda complex was erected on the location of King Mindon�s provisional palace, the �Nan Myey Bon Tha.� which he used until his permanent Royal Palace was completed in the center of the Royal City (now Mandalay Fort). It was built as a memorial to King Mindon�s younger half-brother, statesman, reformer, stimulating personality and confidante, the Crown Prince Kanaung, who had helped him seize power from Pagan Min in 1853. Two of Mindon�s sons, Princes Myingun, (or Myint Kun) and Myin Kon Taing disappointed in being excluded from the succession, launched a palace revolution against their father on June 8, 1866, and assassinated Crown Prince Kanaung and three other princes: Malun, Saku and Pyinsi. The princes were buried on the grounds where they died. The royal residence was demolished the next year as the court was moved to the new Royal Palace. In 1874, King Mindon had the pagoda built near the graves of the Crown Prince and the other members of the royal family who lost their lives in the 1866 coup.

It was perhaps as a result of this coup that Mindon did not appoint another successor until, upon his deathbed in 1879, the scheming Central Queen secured the appointment of her weak son-in-law, Theebaw, and her daughter, Supayalat, as successors with her as regent. The unpopular regime collapsed in the British annexation of Mandalay and Upper Burma in 1885.
The Paya is also famous for the Iron Buddha Sandamani cast by King Bodawpay (1782-1819) of the Konbaung dynasty in 1802, and which King Mindon and brought from Amarapura to his new pagoda and shrine in 1874. This was the seventh and last of the many journeys of the Iron Buddha, frequently moved because of wars and the shift of capitals in the nineteenth century. Accompanying this largest solid iron Buddha image were eighty statues of saint disciples, which are now sheltered in mini-stupas around the pagoda. The statue reportedly weighs 40,924.8 lbs or 18.562 metric tons. It now is covered with gold foil attached by believers over the decades.

Additionally there are 1774 marble slabs inscribed with Commentaries and Sub-commentaries on the Tipitaka (Pali spelling, or Tripitaka, in Sanskrit), the �Three Baskets of Buddha�s teaching� in the Pali language. Each is 5.5 ft high 3.5 ft wide and .5 ft thick. Some have called the grouping �Volume II of the World�s Largest Book,� in a clear reference to the adjoining Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the full text of the Tipitaka itself on 729 slabs. The project and the housings of the slabs were the result of the successful campaign in 1913 by the famous Hermit of Mandalay Hill, U Khanti (or Kanti), who also designed the iron covered causeways and devotional halls and the book-like layout of the tablets.

A renovation campaign begun in 1991 changed some elements of the Sandamuni. The uncompleted stupas housing the slabs were completed and the existing ones were repaired. It now is in a good state of repair. In addition, the tombs of the Crown Prince and the three princes were moved to a mausoleum.

SHWENANDAW MONASTERY

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The Shwenandaw ("Golden Palace") monastery was so named because it originally formed part of King Mindon Min's (1853-1878) apartments in the royal palace. After Mindon died in the building, the new king Thibaw Min (1878-1885) had it dismantled and rebuilt on the present site (1880) as a monastery. Beautiful carving remains on the building, which is made of teak wood.

MANDALAY HILL

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Brief Information
Mandalay Hill is 230 meters in elevation and commands a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside. The legend has it that the Buddha, on his visit, had made a prophecy that a great city would be founded at the foot of this hill.

Detailed History
One of the main attractions of Mandalay to visitors is Mandalay Hill, probably owing to its mystical religious background. The 954 feet-high hill is a hallowed complex indeed as it is covered with pagodas, images of the Buddha and some other aspects of Buddhism. A motorway up the hill has been recently constructed and trees have been planted all over the hill as part of the greening of the city. One souvenir of the visit to the hill is the unforgettable vista of an eastern city seen from above the hill, especially at sunset.

According to the legend, the Lord Buddhist visited to the top of the Hill and directed his hand to a spot prophesying his disciple that the famous pious king would found the Royal City and the King Mindon had to built the present day remain Place on the said spot. Mandalay Hill, 230 meters in elevation, commands a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside.

SHWEINBIN MONASTERY

Shweinbin Monastery is located at the southwest corner of Mandalay City. This attractive monastery built in traditional Myanmar architecture is one of the few buildings that have survived the test of time. Constructed in 1895 by Chinese merchants, the monastery consists of many impressive woodcarvings and also contains a number of admirable works of art.

YANKIN HILL

The Yankin Hill is located in the East of Mandalay. Yankin Hill meaning "away from danger", shows harmony and peacefulness of Mandalay. There are many carved figures of fishes on the hill. It was placed by Min Shin Saw, son of King Alaung Sithu during the Bagan Era. It is believed that first the figures of the fishes were kept in the Royal Palace during the Yadanarbon period. But later on for the sake of the people and on their believes, Min Shin Saw placed the figures on Yankin Hill. Whenever there was a draught, the people of Mandalay carried the figures around the city and then went to Yankin Hill. It was believed that by doing this, it could bring rainfall to the city. There is a bus route winding up the hill from both the South and North side. The hill is about 215 meters high and ranging from North to South about 2013 meters wide. The Mya Kyauk tube well is situated near the Yankin Hill and visitors can also pay homage to the Atula Maha Mya Kyauk Pagoda.

AMARAPURA

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Brief Information
Amarapura lies on the left bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is famous for the silk weaving industry and the landmark of U Bein Bridge constructed in 1849, crossing the Taungtha-man Inn (Lake) is one of the main attractions for visitors. It is the longest teak bridge in the world; although a bit rickety in some parts it has withstood the storms and folds of over two centuries. The bridge is named after its donor U Bein.

Detailed History
The Sanscript name Amarapura means "City of Immortality" although its life as Myanmar's capital was all too brief. King Bodawpaya initiated the move from Innwa in 1783 because he wanted to make a completely fresh start having acquired the throne through the brutal murder of his rivals and their families. The real intent might be that by moving the royal seat from Innwa to Amarapura, the other royal families would never be associated with the throne. In 1823 Innwa was restored as the seat of government and although in 1841 the throne returned to Amarapura, King Mindon made Mandalay the last capital of the Myanmar kings in 1857. The main feature of the charming little town of Amarapura is its many workshops. From practically every house you can hear the clacking of the looms as they produce the most exquisite longyis (traditional sarong-style lower garment) of cotton or silk. There are many bronze foundries and woodcarvers providing devotional objects such as Buddha images and gongs for the lucrative market in nearby Mandalay. All that remains of the former royal palace are the stone ruins - the teak buildings were dismantled and taken away to Mandalay.

MINGUN

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Brief Information
Located about 11km proverb from Mandalay, on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Just an hour's boat ride away from Mandalay, along the Ayeyarwady River, is the little town of Mingun. Mingun Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, which was unfortunately abandoned due to the death of King Bodawapaya in 1819. It is a huge bronze bell near the Mingun Zedi on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It weighs 55555 viss (100 tons). it is the world's biggest rigning bell. Myatheindan Pagoda was built as a representation of the Sulamani Pagoda which, according to the Buddhist plan of the cosmos, stands atop Mount Meru. This pagoda was badly damaged in 1838 by a quake but King Mindon restored it in 1874.

Detailed History
Just an hour's boat ride away from Mandalay, along the Ayeyarwady River, is the little town of Mingun. The public service boats, specially laid on for tourists, leave the Mayanchan jetty every morning. Early in the morning, in loud and strident tones, staccato prayers come rasping through loudspeakers, creating a strange though quite impressive scenario for the visitor who is keen to look behind the scenes of the tourist attractions.

Mingun Pahtotawgyi: Over, 20,000 workers toiled for twenty years on the construction of the Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, which was unfortunately abandoned due to the death of King Bodawapaya in 1819. A 150feet miniature model of the pagoda is in close proximity. It was completed to a height of 162 feet. Up to the first terrace is less than on third of the final height. This unfinished structure was badly damaged with cracks by the earthquake of 1838 but it is still the largest brick base in the world. Mingun Bell: It is a huge bronze bell near the Mingun Zedi on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It weighs 55555 vises (100 tons). it is the world's biggest rigning bell. Myatheindan Pagoda: Built by King Bagyidaw in 1816, three years before he succeeded Bodawpaya as a king. It was built as a representation of the Sulamani Pgoda which, according to the Buddhist plan of the cosmos, stands atop Mount Meru. This pagoda was badly damaged in 1838 by a quake but King Mindon restored it in 1874. Even from a distance, one can see from the boat the massive ruins of the Mantara Gyi Pagoda (commonly known as Mingun Pahto), which was built by King Bodawpaya to be the biggest padoda in the world and was originally intended to reach a height of 152 meters. For precisely this purpose, between 1790 and his death in 1819, Bodawpaya had thousands of prisoners of war and slaves working on the construction of the stupa. It is said that there were too much dissatisfaction over the heavy burden of building this massive pagoda among the people and the ruling class alike and there came a tabaung (a prophesy); "as soon as the building of the pagoda was over, the country would also be gone". Thus the construction came to a halt, much relieved to the people. Only a third of Bodawpaya's dream was completed. Twenty years later, the mighty brick edifice was badly damaged in an earthquake. Nevertheless, the remains of the pagoda, 50 meters high and 72 meters wide, are still spectacular. It is possible to climb up it barefoot and from the top there is a magnificent view of the Ayeyarwady as far as Mandalay.

Another relic of Bodaypaya's megamania is the Mingun Bell. With a height of 3.7 meters, it is said to be the largest working bell in the world. The Kremlin bell in Moscow is actually bigger but it is cracked and therefore not in use. Weighing 90 metric tons, the Mingun Bell was cast in bronze in 1808, and once it was completed Bodaypaya had the master craftsman executed in order to stop him making anything similar.

MONYWA

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Brief Information
It lies 136 km northwest of Mandalay and situated on the east bank of Chindwin River. Thanbodhay Paya: First built in 1303 by Monywa Sayadaw, the solid section of the monument is said to enclose 7,350 relics and other holy materials. Po Win Daung Caves: The caves and surrounding hills are named after U Po Win. Caves themselves contain Buddhist statues and mural dating to the 17th and 18th century.

Detailed History
Just an hour's boat ride away from Mandalay, along the Ayeyarwady River, is the little town of Mingun. The public service boats, specially laid on for tourists, leave the Mayanchan jetty every morning. Early in the morning, in loud and strident tones, staccato prayers come rasping through loudspeakers, creating a strange though quite impressive scenario for the visitor who is keen to look behind the scenes of the tourist attractions. Even from a distance, one can see from the boat the massive ruins of the Mantara Gyi Pagoda (commonly known as Mingun Pahto), which was built by King Bodawpaya to be the biggest padoda in the world and was originally intended to reach a height of 152 meters. For precisely this purpose, between 1790 and his death in 1819, Bodawpaya had thousands of prisoners of war and slaves working on the construction of the stupa. It is said that there were too much dissatisfaction over the heavy burden of building this massive pagoda among the people and the ruling class alike and there came a tabaung (a prophesy); "as soon as the building of the pagoda was over, the country would also be gone". Thus the construction came to a halt, much relieved to the people. Only a third of Bodawpaya's dream was completed. Twenty years later, the mighty brick edifice was badly damaged in an earthquake. Nevertheless, the remains of the pagoda, 50 meters high and 72 meters wide, are still spectacular. It is possible to climb up it barefoot and from the top there is a magnificent view of the Ayeyarwady as far as Mandalay.

INWA

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Brief Information
Innwa lies in the south of Mandalay and only 30 minutes drive away. This old city was long time capital of Myanmar, before Mandalay was built. Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery and Grand Bargaya Monastery are popular tourist destinations in Innwa.

Detailed History
Over recent months there has been much discussion, and some controversy, over who founded Nordic Walking. INWA is quite clear on the history of Nordic Walking and it's founder and wishes to state, particularly for the benefit of those who are unaware of the true foundations of Nordic Walking.

In their recent book on Nordic Walking Tiina Arrankoski and Tuomo Kettunen have detailed the evidence of how, in 1966, Leena Jääskeläinen, a physical education teacher in the School of Viherlaakso, Helsinki introduced "walking with ski poles" into the students' lessons. She recognized the benefits that engaging up to 90% of the body's muscles would have on young people.

When Leena joined the PE Faculty at the University of Jyväskylä she continued to promote what is now known as Nordic Walking, recommending the use of poles as a tool in PE lessons and developing a range of exercises with poles.

The move to bring Nordic Walking beyond the education system and to the attention of the general public came in the early 1990's with the work of Tuomo Jantunen, director of the Suomen Latu (The Central Association for Recreational Sports and Outdoor Activities).

Since then there have been a number of people in Finland, including the President of INWA, Aki Karihtala (former senior vice president of Exel), Matti Heikkilä (Vierumäki Sports Institute), Sirpa Arvonen (Suomen Latu) and Marko Kantaneva among the others, who have promoted and developed Nordic Walking to where it has been able to benefit millions of people around the world.

But rather than having an "originator" of walking with ski poles in its modern form, documented history clearly places the credit for establishing Nordic Walking with Leena Jääskeläinen, a visionary teacher.

PYIN OO LWIN

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Brief Information
A pretty little hill resort, 67 km east of Mandalay. Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo), was a hill station established by the British as a cool retreat from the heat of the central Myanmar plains. The famous places are Pyeik Chin Myaung, Pwe Kauk Fall and the Maha Anhtookanthar Paya are tourist attractions in this area.

Detailed History
Pyin Oo Lwin offers visitors cool days and nights, peaceful rural roads and tracks for walkers and cyclists, trekking in the fruit and flower producing countryside, and interesting shopping. Old times can be re-lived with coach rides, and many historical and beautiful places are within easy reach. Just over an hour's drive from Mandalay, and with spectacular views from the road up the escarpment, Pyin Oo Lwin is an ideal and refreshing destination for visitors to Upper Myanmar.

MOGOK

Our Mogok gem Company deals with all kinds of Mogok gems, jades, diamonds and make special Jewelry designs. We also have gems trading, crystal trading, minerals, semi-precious stones and gems paintings. Moreover, we provide cutting, polishing, curving, gems identifying for all kinds of gems and jewelry. As for our other service, we have very special mineral tour plus travel and tour service around Myanmar.

SAGAING

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Brief Information
Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is an ancient capital of "Sagaing Dynasty". Sagaing Hills are known as a religious retreat where over 400 monasteries for monks and nuns are located. Kaung Hmudaw Pagoda: About 10 km from Sagaing. It is an enormous dome-shaped pagoda, built by King Thalun in 1636. Ominthonesal Pagoda: It has many Buddha images in a crescent shaped colonnade. Mural paintings in the Tilawkaguru cave temple, built in 1672.

Detailed History
There are plenty of stupas scattered around Sagaing Hill, which rise on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. Sagaing became capital of the independent Shan kingdom around 1,315, after the fall of Bagan had thrown central Myanmar into chaos. Its period of importance was short, for in 1364 the founder's grandson, Thadomyinphya, moved his capital across the river to Innwa. For four brief years, from 1760 to 1764, Sagaing was once again the capital, but its historic importance is comparatively minor.

Today, it is mostly known as a religious center that supports dozens of Buddhists monasteries and nunneries as well as a major monastic hospital. During the full moon of Tazaungmone (October/November), devotees from Mandalay and beyond flock to Sagaing to offer robes.

SHWEBO

Brief Information
It is 64 miles north of Mandalay on the motor and railroad to Myitkyina. It can be reached by car or rail from Mandalay under four hours. The ruins of ancient culture can be seen at Hanlin, a few miles south of Shwebo.

Detailed History
Shwebo is 64 miles north of Mandalay on the motor and railroad to Myitkyina. It is 17 miles west of Kyauk Myaung. a river-side town on the Ayeyarwady. which is famous for glazed pottery works from toys. cups. letters. bowls. pots to huge water jars that are tied in hundreds and floated down the river as rafts. These are widely used throughout the country. Shwebo was the native town of U Aung Zeya. the founder of the Kone Baung Dynasty against the rule of the Mon Monarchy in 1752 and lasted over two centuries. He subdued all the war-lords and racial chieftains and unified the whole country under one kingdom.

As Shwebo was the first capital of the last dynasty of Myanmar kings. there is a belief that the land in this place is a land of victory. Even after the capital was shifted to other places. the Kings. their royal officials and high ranking army commanders used to come back to tread the "earth of victory land" at Shwebo. in a ceremonial way. During colonial times this belief was discouraged. but still the people. continued to believe that before any important undertaking the victory land at Shwebo should be trod. After Independence. the people of Shwebo under the guidance of Webu Sayadaw. built a Victory Land Pagoda and established a Victory Land Enclosure. and also a monastery called Aung Mye Kyaung Daik or Victory Land Monastery. Visitors nowadays usually take back a handful of Victory earth to keep in their houses.

The place and other royal parks. lakes. moats and watch tower have been neglected. disrepair. ravaged and ruined in the last two centuries. With the promotion of the tourism industry. the government has launched upon the reconstruction of the palace buildings. parks and dredged the royal lake for the benefit of the visitors and locals.

Shwebo can be reached by car or rail from Mandalay under four hours. The Pyu culture dating back to the second century A.D. flourished at Hanlin. the ruins of which can still be seen. a few miles south of Shwebo. Travel by car under less than an hour. It is the rice bowl of Upper Myanmar with vast stretches of paddy land.

PALATE

You can find many wondrous places in various part of the world and Myanmar is no exception. One of these is the Snake Pagoda. situated at the town of Paleik. which is 15 miles from Mandalay.

Palate is situated approximately 30 minutes by car from Mandalay. There is a famous pagoda in town. which is called the Palate Snake Pagoda. The reason for its name is due to the snakes that surround the main Buddha figure. At present there are three snakes however for a long time there had only been one but mysteriously two more turned up unannounced. For the local people the snakes have for a long time been a symbol of guardians of Buddha. whatever the reason these passive snakes are quite happy for visitors to hold them and take pictures and at 11am every morning they take a bath in the small pool nearby. Whether you’re a snake lover or not this temple is certainly worth a visit.

The formal name of the Pagoda is known as “Ratana Laba Muni Sutaungpyi Muei Phaya” but it is known to be as “Meui Phaya” or “Snake Pagoda”. In 1977. a Buddhist monk was clearing the bush in that area and found a Buddha image inside a ruined Pagoda.

On top of the image were three large pythons and from that time on. the place became known far and wide in the country as the Snake Pagoda .Each snake is fed a pot of milk and three eggs every five days. But later on. due to instructions from a veterinarian. each was given 50 tickles of goat meat for protein. But every morning at 11:00 a.m.. the snakes are given a bath .Pilgrims from various parts of the country come to pay homage to the snake Pagoda in Paleik town whenever they arrive in Mandalay. It is Buddhist belief that even animals though merit earned in previous existences are deserving of care and attention.

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  • Each Passport, Visa and D-Form Assistance and Consultation

Landmark Myanmar Travels & Tours

Building 35 Condo, Room 701, Phyar Pone Street,
San Chaung Township, Yangon, Myanmar.

: (+951) 230 4515
: (+959) 538 0409, 519 2878, 4931 7215
: (+951) 230 4515
: sales@landmarkmyanmar.com
: www.landmarkmyanmar.com

AVAILABLE PAYMENT ACCEPTANCE