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Things to Do in Mandalay


Mahamuni Buddha Temple
15 Tours and Activities

Located southwest of Mandalay Hill in Myanmar, Mahamuni Buddha Temple honors the Mahamuni (Great Sage) expression of the Buddha. The pagoda, arguably the most important to the residents of Mandalay, was built to house a 12-foot (3.8-meter) tall statue of the Buddha that was already ancient when King Bodawpaya conquered Arakan and claimed it in 1784.

According to local legend, the statue was cast while the Buddha was still alive, but it was more likely cast some six centuries after his death, somewhere around 150 AD. No matter its origins, the statue is highly venerated by devotees — evidenced by the inches thick layer of pure gold leaf that has been added to the metal statue over the centuries.

The pagoda courtyard houses six more statues, Khmer bronze pieces of lions, elephants and warriors, that were taken as war loot from Angkor Wat during the fifteenth century. It is believed that rubbing these statues imparts healing.

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Located upstream and across the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River from Mandalay, Mingun was once an ancient capital of Myanmar. The area is most famous for the Mingun Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, a massive unfinished stupa, in addition to one of the world’s largest ringing bells, and the architecturally unique Hsinbyume Pagoda.

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