Eye-catching Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar (former Burma). This city is internationally famous as a large Buddhism center. Mandalay is home to more than seven hundred pagodas, each of which amazes visitors with its beauty and grandeur. Every year, thousands of pilgrims arrive in this city to perform sacred rituals and pray. This land full of secrets and mystery has always lured generations of tourists. Don’t forget that Mandalay is the old royal capital of the country, and this fact draws even more attention to this amazing area. Everyone, who has visited this Burmese city at least once, calls Mandalay the most interesting destination that outperforms even large cities in Myanmar (Burma).
The city of Mandalay was officially founded in 1857 by King Mindon. Starting from 1860 and during the next twenty-five years, Mandalay was the capital of the Burmese Kingdom. Everything changed in 1885 when the British troops occupied the city. To resist the invaders and not let them capture the country completely, the ruling King Thibaw signed an agreement with France. This document mentioned the building of a railroad connecting Laos and Mandalay. Thibaw also intended to organize a navy in the country, but all his efforts were in vain. The United Kingdom added the whole territory of Burma to British India.
Myanmar is incredibly rich in attractive and original attractions, but some of them are truly spectacular and worth visiting. Atumashi Monastery is one of them. This is an old architectural landmark, the name of which literally means “incomparable”. Visit this attraction of Mandalay and you will understand why the monastery was called this way. In modern times, the Atumashi Monastery has become a cultural establishment and lost its status of a shelter for monks years ago. Despite this, tourists from different parts of the world try to visit this impeccable architectural attraction and admire its skillfully made carved décor.
Gorgeous stucco enwraps the whole building like a belt. If you take a closer look, you will notice the motif that is typical for the traditional Burmese ornaments. The pattern is made in such a peculiar way that if you take a look at one element of the stucco, you will surely gaze at the next element. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to take one’s eyes off of the gorgeous carved décor of the Atumashi Monastery. Don’t be surprised to see multiple tourists who stand motionlessly in front of the building and gaze at its design. The patterned décor is truly original and unique, and, surprisingly, no other building in the world has a similar one.
How about exploring a real Burmese palace? A fabulous building was erected in a neighborhood of Mandalay in the 19th century. This building was home to Mindon and Thibaw kings. The palace shared its name with the city. This was a majestic wooden construction safety protected by the four-kilometer-long walls. The palace that tourists can see today is a precise copy of the original building, which was, unfortunately, lost during the bombing of the Japanese aircraft. The moat around the building and the protective walls, the height of which reaches nine meters, are the only elements of the original complex. The palace has several entrances, but only one of them is open for visitors.
The Mandalay Palace consists of the main building with a tall gilded spire and several similarly looking wooden buildings on the perimeter. All buildings in the complex feature carved wooden décor, the beauty of which amazes even experienced foreign travelers. There is a museum in the central part of the complex. This museum exhibits the royal throne and bed and provides much information about the history of the city and its rulers. Another museum in the complex, which is smaller, is dedicated to the clothes of kings, ministers, and other nobles of the 19th century.
Tourists can get to Mandalay by air from Thailand. This is a fast and direct way to reach the miraculous world of pagodas. Besides this, tourists can always get on a train to Mandalay that departs from a major city of Myanmar, Yangon. Several trains go in this direction every day. Travelers need to be prepared for a long journey in this case – the train ride lasts roughly fifteen hours. Finally, there are buses to Mandalay from Yangon and other cities in Myanmar, but the journey time is approximately the same – from thirteen to sixteen hours.