Mandalay and Amarapura
Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, with a population of approx. 1.5m (of which 40% are Chinese origin), is a cultural, economic and religious centre and was the last royal capital of the country. Mandalay neighbours the mountain regions of the Shan and Kachin people and is their main market town in Upper Burma.
Built between 1857 and 1859 under the order of King Mindom, it fulfilled a prophecy (and as is often the case with Monarchs, to his own glory). The legend that Gautama Buddha visited Mandalay Hill with his disciple Anana and proclaimed that in 2400 years after his death a great city for Buddhist teaching will be founded at the foot of the hill.
Mahamuni Pagoda - the much admired Mahamuni Pagoda is one of
the three most visited religious sites in
Myanmar (the others being Shwedagon Pagoda
and The Rock). Its famous Buddha image is
covered with a thick layer of gold leaf placed
there over decades by visiting worshippers.
Ladies are not allowed to go near the Buddha.
Below you can see the Buddha as it was and
as it is today - much larger than the original.