When one speaks of handicrafts and cottage
industries, Mandalay, the city of the last Myanmar kings
and heart of Myanmar's culture, artistry and religion,
surely is the place. There is unique gold embroidery,
hand-weaving of silk and cotton, the incredible process
of making gold leaves, wood and stone carving and bronze
casting. The river jetty at Mandalay is a beehive of
activity with small boats going up and down the river,
bamboo rafts and cargo boats with huge logs from the teak
forests upriver. Here, the water buffaloes are the beasts
of burden, hauling the logs from the river up to the
lumber storage areas along the river bank.
the city within the city, built in 1857 and
destroyed by fire during the Second World War, is
surrounded by thick brick walls. Myanan-Sankyaw
Golden Palace (model of the Mandalay palace), the
Nanmyint-Saung Tower and the Cultural Museum can
be found inside the palace grounds.
the holiest pagoda in Myanmar, hosting the
revered Mahamuni image, cast in the 1st century
and now covered in thick gold leaves, attracts
pilgrims from all over the country.
Buddha statue at
With its height of 236 meters and 1,729 steps it
offers a terrific view of the city and the
surrounding countryside! From there you can see
built by King Mindon in 1877. This pagoda is surrounded
by 729 upright marble slabs on which the entire Buddhist
scriptures are inscribed. Created by 2,400 monks, it is
also known as the "World's Largest Book". Next
to this pagoda you will find the...
famous for its exquisite wood carving. It was part of the
palace complex during King Mindon's time before it was
shifted piece by piece to the east of the Mandalay palace.
SHWE IN BIN
This attractive monastery built in traditional Burmese fashion 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. At present there are 35 monks that live in the monastery
complex which is held up by the classical teak foundation that is
often seen throughout the country but rarely in as good condition as
at this illuminating site.
3 km east of Mandalay Fort has a whole complex of temples and
monasteries running along the top of its ridge. With two staircases at
either 'end' of the hill, you can walk the complete circuit - so take
your shoes with you.
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.
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
ticals 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 through
merit earned in previous existences are deserving of care and
ARTS AND CRAFTS
For lovers of arts and crafts, Mandalay represents the largest
repository of Myanmar arts and crafts. It is here that visitors can
observe skilled craftsmen making beautiful articles of tapestry, ivory,
wood, marble and stone carving and engravings, silverware and bronze
statues according to the time-honored traditions of their forefathers.
Besides those, the other arts and crafts workshops of silk-weaving and
gold-leaf making are also places worthy of visiting..
excursions from Mandalay
Yangon - Yangon excursions - Bagan - Bagan excursions - Kayin State - Mon State - Rakhine State - Shan State
© 1999 Myriam