Kuthodaw is a Buddhist stupa formally titled Mahalawka Marazein located in Mandalay. It was built at the same time of Mandalay palace during the reign of King Mindon on 1857. The stupa is gilded above its terraces, 188 feet (57 m) high, and is modeled after the Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U near Bagan. It is located at the center and surrounded by 729 kyauksa gu or stone-inscription caves arranged in three rows, each containing a marble slab inscribed on both sides with a page of text from the Tipitaka, the entire Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. The size of inscriptions is 1.52m long, 1.06m wide and 0.15m thick, and about 0.46m of the slab was erected in the ground.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin, formerly Maymyo is located east of 67 kilometers (42 miles) away from Mandalay, and it is at an altitude of 1070 meters (3510 ft) and 1,000 meter above sea water. The town, named after Colonel (later Major General) James May of the 5th Bengal Infantry stationed there in 1886, served as the summer capital during the British administration. There have many buildings which reflect colonial images. This place is famous for beautiful botanical gardens, water fall, Defense Services Academy (DSA) and Cyber city which has been established on 2007.
Sagaing is Located on the bank of Ayeyarwady River, about 45 minutes drive to the southwest of Mandalay. It can be considered as a small city of Bagan since it has numerous Stupas and Buddhist monasteries which were built on the mountains. Besides, there have many memorial stone marks of Japanese soldiers’ who died during the Second World War. The most famous pagodas and places are Sagaing Hill, Padamya Zedi, Sun Oo Ponya Shin, Zedi Hla, Mingun Shwe Myin Tin, Sin Mya Shin, Kazun Naint, Myinsine Pagoda, Padu Zigon, Mi Pauk Gyi, Kyaik Lat Gyaung with wall paintings, Lay Kyun Man Aung, U Min Thoneze, NgaHtatKyi, Kaung Mu Taw, Aung Myay Law Ka, Phaya Ngasu with wall paintings, Pahtodaw Gyi and Mingun Bell, Pandaw Pagoda, Set Tawya and Mya Thein Dan.
The main sightseeing spots of Sagain such as Sun Oo Ponya Shin and U Min Thoneze are located on Sagaing Hill. Besides, there have many memorial stone marks of Japanese soldiers’ who died during the Second World War.
Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda
This pagoda is famous and it is largest in Sagaing with its large white-washed edifice and large dome built on 1636. The huge dome rises 46 m (151 ft) in the shape of a perfect hemisphere and was modeled after the Maha Zeti Pagoda. There has an inscription inscribed about the history of pagoda. Myanmar women’s favorite “Thanakhar” shops can be seen everywhere inside the pagoda’s compound.
Monywa is a city of Sagaing Division which is three hour drives from Mandalay located on the eastern bank of the River Chindwin. There remains more Buddha’s culture heritage than Mandalay. The major tourist attractions in Monywa includes the Thanboddhay Pagoda which has 582,363 of Buddha images with different sizes, lying Buddha named “Shwe Thar Lyaung Paya” with length 111 meter and 10 meter high, and Phowintaung cave complex across the Chindwin River. Besides, there have many memorial stone marks of Japanese soldiers’ who died during the Second World War.
Amarapura meaning "City of Immortality" is situated 11 km to the south of Mandalay. It was the capital of Myanmar for three discrete periods during the Konbaung dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuries before finally supplanted by Mandalay. Although it was a former royal capital having Pa Htoo Taw Gyi Pagoda, Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda which all were belongings the king’s palace, the famous one is the wooden bridge with 1,200 meter long named U Bein bridge just across the Taungthaman Lake.
It is the largest Buddhist monastery having over 1,000 monks and novices residing throughout the year and a few hundred are pursuing studies. You will see a big queue of monks walking to the dining room and the scene of daily life of the monk.
U-Pein bridge was built by U Bain (U Pain), who was the lord of the villages on the other side of Taungthaman Lake on 1849. It is a wooden bridge connecting the two banks of Taungthaman Lake, in Amarapura (City of Eternity), which used to be the capital of Konbaung Dynasty having length of 1.2 Kilometer. This bridge is not only a popular sightseeing sport but also it serves as the most important communication link for the people of this village. The sunset view around the bridge is very beautiful as well as the weather is also cooler with light breeze blowing. This is also one of the favorite and popular visiting places during Thingyan festival.
Innwa was established by Myanma kings on 1364 and it was the capital of Myanmar till 1841. This city is located in the Mandalay Division of Myanmar, situated to the south of Amarapura on the Ayeyarwady River. The royal palace is located in a corner of the city wall at Innwa, in Mandalay and Amarapura. The cultural and religious life is still very active in this city, with numerous Buddhist institutions. Collections of paintings, manuscripts, art objects and inscriptions are housed in various monasteries and museums. There has famous monasteries named “Mahar Aung Myay Kyaung” and “Bar Ga Yar Kyaung” built by Teak on 1818 by former kings. Few temples, stupas and monasteries are remained inside the city wall as a small village after a strong earthquake in 1838.
The Mahamuni Buddha Temple or Mahamuni Pagoda is famous Buddhist temple located 2 Kilometers far from downtown area and southwest of Mandalay. The Mahamuni Image originally came from Arakan. Ancient tradition refers to only five likenesses of the Buddha, made during his lifetime; two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Mahamuni Buddha image in Myanmar. According to the legend, the Buddha visited the Dhanyawadi city of Arakan in 554 BC. The image is cast in bronze and weighs 6.5 tonnes and is erected on pedestal 1.84 metres high and reaches a height of 3.82 metres. Gold leaves are regularly applied to the Mahamuni Buddha only by male. A bronzed sculpture is situated inside the Mahamuni pagoda’s compound and people believe that by touching the same place of its body who suffered sick will recover quickly.
On the west bank of Mandalay about 11 km, is a small town called Innwa, well known for its world largest ringing bell weights 90.5 ton is at the height of 12ft and the diameter of the mouth is 16 ft wide.
The huge temple was built but incompleted by king Bodawphaya in late 1790. It took 15 years to build and the king died before complete it. Instead of 530ft in height as planned is at last only 162ft high. From the upper terrace of the building can be seen the yawning cracks cutting deep down to its solid base. It was the damages caused by many earthquakes in 1838. Two mythical lions in front of the building are at the height of 95ft and the eyes were 9ft in width are now can seen as broken pieces. The huge remnants of the Pagoda and mythical lions still testify the archaeological skills at that time of Amarapura period.