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The final royal capital of Myanmar built by King Min don in 1857 is today the country’s second largest city. The ‘Gem City ‘, as it was known, was the scene of incredible splendor and a wealth of religious buildings- during Min don ’s reign it played host to a commemoration of the 2’400 anniversary of Buddha’s death. 1885 saw Mandalay and “Upper Burma“ (present day Upper Myanmar ) annexed by the br4itish with King Thee baw and his wife Queen Suphayalet, the last royal couple , being e exiled to India. Many of the religious buildings are intact including the beautiful teak monastery, Shwenandaw where King Mindon died. Kuthodaw is one pagoda not to be missed. Around the golden stupas, a copy of the Shwezigon in Bagan, stand 729 marble slabs, each one inscribed with part of the Tripitika (Buddhist sacred texts). King Mindon, a very religious man, wanted to safe-guard the scripture, which were otherwise highly vulnerable for they were traditionally recorded on palm leaves. Then there is the Mahamuni Pagoda which houses the revered Mahamuni image of the Gautama Buddha. In 1784 this huge image survived being hauled all the way from Mrauk-U in the far west. The only major monument missing is the teak Mandalay palace which fell victim to allied bombs during World War ll. Today the city of 3 million is a buzzing commercial center aided by its proximity to China. Traditionally the home of Artisans Guilds these still flourish and much of the handicrafts sold throughout the country are made in Mandalay.


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Central bank of Myanmar | 2022-08-16

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