Mandalay Pagodas and Temples
Mandalay has so many temples, pagodas and monasteries we find it hard to decide which ones to visit. What’s the best way to decide? Well thats a difficult choice. In the end we left it up to our taxi driver and the monk U Sandima to decide for us.
The time of the year meant there were only a few tourists, making it really helpful. The busy season is very crowded so travelling there in the slow season (June) we had the pagodas reasonably free to ourselves.
U Min Thonze Pagoda – SagaingU Min Thonze Pagoda is also called U Min Thonze Caves. At the top of Sagaing Hill, we walk up long covered walkways to get to the top. With a long curved line in the shape of a perfect hemisphere and the buddha rooms built into the hill this is why its referred to as caves.
30 separate entrances lead into the curved chamber where 45 Buddha statues sit. Each one wears a different expression, and is individually guilded and unique.
Built in the 11th century there is one statue for each year Buddha taught.
Soon Oo Ponya Shin Pagoda – SagaingOn the top of one of Sagaing Hills is the Soon Oo Ponya Shin Pagoda. One of the oldest temples in the Sagaing Hill region, its also one of the richest. Constantly being updated thanks to the flood of cash donated in the front donation boxes the large Buddha statue looks out over Sagaing. The tiled terraces and surrounding gold ornate roof of the pagoda are in a class of their own.
Kyauktawgyi Paya Temple – SagaingKyauktawgyi Paya Temple Mandalay is known for the large seated Buddha carved from a block of pale green marble from the Ayeyarwaddy river.
History has it the marble block was moved by 10,000-12,000 ‘conscripted labourers’ from the river quarry to the temple for carving. Completed in 1878 eighty small shrines surround the Kyauktawgyi Temple holding figures representing the 80 Great Disciples of Buddha. The complex is one of the Pagodas and Temples situated below Sagaing Hill.