This city was the capital of Burma during the XIX century and is currently the second largest city (around 927 000 inhabitants) of the country and the capital of the Burmese division of the same name. It is located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River to 350 miles of Yangon city (the current capital of Burma).
The city is one of the most important tourist destinations of this region of Asia due the beautiful palaces that are in it and because of the ancient archeological sites that surround the city as the famous complex religious of Bagan with its almost 2200 temples and Pagodas. One of the landmarks of the city is the pagoda at Mungun which hosts the largest working bell of the world.
Mandalay has a typical tropical climate. The coldest period is between November and February with average temperatures from 15 to 25 ºC March to May the climates is quite warm. This is also the wet season which is characterized by the presence of monsoons. The highest temperatures occur between May and October when they are usually between 35 and 40 ºC.
The foundation’s history of the city is a little peculiar. Unlike most cities of the world, Mandalay was never a small city. In 1857 the King Mindon decided to build a new capital to fulfill an ancient prophecy made by Buddha that said that in the Mandalay Hill (a place that is still sacred to Buddhists) there will be a great Metropolis on the occasion of the 2400 jubilee of Buddhism. Therefore, King Mindon founded a new kingdom and moved the capital of the reign from Amarapura (the former capital) to Mandalay. All the important constructions of Amarapura were dismantled and brought to the new capital using elephants to transport them. The king named the city as Yadanabon Naypyidaw, nevertheless the local inhabitants called the city Ratanapura which means in Pali language: City of Gems, this name referenced the proximity of the city with the gems mines, whose trade is still now one of the main economical activities of the region. When the king founded the city, he laid also the foundation of seven buildings including the Royal Palace.
Mandalay was the capital of Burma until 1885 when the country was invaded by the British forces. Because of this invasion, the king and his family were exiled to India and the British troops took and sacked the royal palace.
In the World War II the city was controlled by the Japanese army between 1942 and 1945 when the British occupied again Burma. During the bombing caused by the war, most monuments and buildings of the city like the Royal Palace (now known as Fort Mandalay) were seriously damaged. Now this Palace hosts several elements of the Burmese Army’s Manadalay Division.
Mandalay is known by the tourism industry; therefore there are many stores, entertainment points and excellent restaurants. Mandalay has also a good transport infrastructure, in addition to the airport which received local flights mainly from the capital Yangon, the city has also long distance bus services and train service. Besides, the city owns an important handicraft industry.
Mandalay is also the cultural and religious capital of the country, since it is an important Buddhist center. The city has around 7000 pagodas amongst them the Kuthodaw Pagoda which is located at foot of the Mandalay Hill and hosts some of the most important documents of the Buddhism’s history. It is a nice city full of history and beauty.
Wonders of Mandalay
Wonders in world map
The temples of Bagan or Pagan (as anciently was known this place) are an extraordinary set of ancient Buddhist sanctuaries, which were built mainly between the X and XII centuries in the actual territory of Myanmar (Burma)