Mandalay Hill - Mandalay

Sutaungpyei Pagoda

The famous city of Mandalay was named after the Mandalay Hill. It is located 790ft northeast of the city center. For over two centuries, the Mandalay Hill has been the destination for Buddhists to find peace and serenity in its pagodas and monasteries. In the old days, one has to climb the stairs to reach the Sutaungpyei Pagoda on the top of the hill and enjoy the panoramic view of the city, including the Mandalay Palace, resting along the way. Today, one can drive up to the escalator and lift to reach the pagoda.

According to legend, Buddha once visited the Mandalay Hill and prophesied that in the year 2400 of Buddhist Era, a great city will be built at the foot of the hill where his teachings would flourish. There is now a standing image of Buddha, called Shweyattaw, pointing towards the city.

As you make your way from the foot of the hill, you are greeted by two giant statues of mythical lions, called Chinthe. You walk past statues of 28 Buddhas that existed from past and present worlds, along with frieze paintings on the journey. At the south terrace before reaching Sutaungpyei Pagoda, you will see a statue of ogress Sanda Muhki. According to legend, the ogress wanted to offer something to Buddha, but lack of any possessions, she offered her own breasts. Buddha made a prophecy that she will be reborn as the great king who would build a great city at foot of Mandalay Hill.

Mandalay Hill is worth climbing, full of legends and rewarded by a beautiful panoramic view from atop. One can see as far as Kuthodaw Pagoda, Shan mountains, and across Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) river.

 

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