Shwenandaw Monastery – Mandalay
‘Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay is historic Buddhist monastery built 1878. King Thibaw Min built it.‘
The buddhist monk U Sandima was showing us this magnificent teak building, the only remaining main original structure left from the Royal Palace.
‘Many monks have prayed here he said.‘
The monastery also known as the Golden Palace Monastery is not far from our hotel the Bagan King. It’s only a few blocks away but today we go by car as U Sandima is showing us Mandalay.
Shwenandaw Monastery is part of the complex King Mindon dismantled from Amarapura and transported to Mandalay in 1857 to found his new capital. Originally all the buildings were made of teak, and standing in the Golden Palace Monastery we get some idea of the scale of the original Golden Palace.
Out with the cameras. Perfect for inside shots, the Panasonic G85 camera comes into its own, and we use the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm G Vario Lens with it. It is a great choice of wide angle lens for this trip.
We are in awe. This is our first day on our trip to Burma, the first day in Mandalay, and we are taken to this magnificent site in the Mandalay Archaeological Zone. Brilliant. Inside we look up at the roof. Supported by huge teak pillars, the roof and walls are decorated in the fine teak carvings covering all surfaces inside and out.
Originally decorated with gilt and glass mosaic work some bits can still be seen. Fires in the Second World War destroyed all but this building, destroying the 9m tall teak Buddha image And Tiputaka Buddhist scriptures. During the fire the 19 carat diamond adorning the Buddha disappeared as well. Now the monastery has a Buddha there again, with only men being able to go inside to worship the image. From the outside, looking up at the 4 tiered roof it is just as ornately decorated as the inside, and the birds wheel in and out of the carvings in the sun.
Entrance FeeThe entrance fee is included in the Mandalay Archaeological Zone ticket ($10 USD for 7 days)
and includes the Atumashi Pagoda located next to it.