Mandalay & Sagaing

Sagaing is located on the west bank of the Irrawaddy river opposite Mandalay.

Mandalay is the center of upper Burma and was the last royal capital of Burma before the the British conquered the Burma occupying a scenic and picturesque spot thereof this is a ideal destination for a day trip when in Mandalay.

It is rather cool quiet and sedate provoking Buddhist religious spirit and meditation on the nearby Sagaing Hills where one could take refuge in one of the Buddhist Retreats occupying some of the hilltops around. It is profusely dotted with manifold Buddhist monasteries institutions and nunneries to which Buddhist devotees throng during the Full Moon of Tazaungmon (October/November), when the weather is clean and clear.

Mandalay Palace

The place is a bit dusty and no many trees are left it indicates that the locals have done quite a lot of tree felling in the past, only behind Monywa which is around 100km to the west the real forest start again at Alaungdaw Kathapa the biggest National Park in the country.

Sagaing belongs to antiquity.

It was founded by Athinkhaya Sawyun, after the fall of Bagan. He was the son of one of the three Shan brothers who founded the city in 1315. After 50 years, the capital was shifted to Innwa (Ava) by Thedominbya-Alaunghpaya, the founder of Konbaung dynasty commenced his building of his vast Myanmar kingdom from the small town of Shwebo His son, Naungdawgyi (1760-63) moved his capital back again and resided there for four years only. However, when he passed away, Innwa (Ava) once again became the royal city again, historically, it is of little importance.

Just see this Buddhist shrines studded hills and the river in the back this is real Oriental mystic imagine what effort the people put into to create all this and only getting ideas in return. Sagaing Hills, as stated above, it is a centre of Buddhist refuge and religious practice. The panorama and environs evoke artistic and picturesque landscape.

Buddhist devotees offer monk's robes and other alms during this period. Kyaswa Monastery provides 'Annual Meditation Practice and Training', for foreign Yogis as an annual feature in January. There is a major monastic hospital for the members of the religious order.

People in Sagaing.

this area opposite Mandalay and including Mingun has a sacred aura, there is probably no other place in the country with such a high density of monasteries pagodas and temples Burmese history can be felt. The Buddhist shrines occupy riverbanks and the hills behind they are simply amazing. There are also several top notch meditation centers in the Sagaing Hills and people come from all over the world to slow down and relax there are also plenty of Buddhist Nuns and Monks around.

The Mingun pagoda and some more temples on the banks of the Irrawaddy with the famous bell and an interesting river life, just watch the people at their daily life and visit one of the monasteries which are located there.

Here are several sacred Buddhist Temples and Pagodas.


The meaning of this is that; TILAWKA, the three kinds of the worlds; (a) World of inanimate things (Okasa Lawka); (b) World of living beings (Sattha Lawka); and (c) the World of Change and Transformation (Sankhara Lawka) exists according to cosmology. Guru means Teacher. Therefore, it means, Teacher of the Three Worlds.

This shrine was built in 1672, by King Narawara of the second dynasty of Innwa (Ava). What is significant is the colorful mural paintings depicting former lives of the Buddha ' rare specimens of local artistic skill and dexterity.


Sagaing being the centre of Theravada Vipassana Satthipathan Meditational Practice, this Pa Ba Gyaung is one among them. It is more than 900 years old. It is an ideal spot for unperturbed meditation. Here, one can imbibe and practice meditation in typical Theravada way according to Four Noble Truths (Thitsa Lepa).


This is one of the notable pagodas around, built by King Narapati (1443-1469) in 1444. It stood 90 ft high, circular in plan with three storeys marked by vertical window-like niches. Nearby, in a shed is stored collection of old stones inscriptions of the 14th and 15th centuries. After the earthquake in 1838, it was reconstructed in 1849 but left unfinished when he was dethroned. It is of rare pattern of local architecture.


On the western side is a very large seated Buddha Image. It was built by King Pindale, (1648-1661), son and successor of King Thalun (1629-1648). He was dethroned by his brother in 1661.


This temple was built by King Bodawpaya (1782-1819), in 1783on the site of his residence before he ascended the throne. It was built completely by stone on the model of Shwezigon of Bagan. It is also known as Eindawya Pagoda. It is a sandstone cylindrical structure, there are five pairs of leographs around.


This is also a significant building built by King Mohnyin of Innwa (Ava) in 1430. Though the title of the structure is Ratna Zedi, it is popularly known as Hsin Mya Shin, (Lord of many elephants). There are number of elephant figures decorating the enclosed wall of the pagoda. Its height is 18 ft (54.9 m). Severe earthquake damaged the pagoda in 1485 but was rebuilt by Mingaung II of Innwa (Ava). Again, it was devastated by another earthquake and reconstructed again in 1950. There are interesting Buddha images and votive tablets recovered from the relic chambers which are enshrined later. It is located near Shwebo-Monywa road leading to the north-west corner of the town.