Mandalay - Filip Šubrt Photo

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment."

Ansel Adams .




Mandalay ( မန္တလေး) is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar. Located 716 km north of Yangon on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River.

The city gets its name from the nearby Mandalay Hill. The name is probably a derivative of a Pali word, although the exact word of origin remains unclear. The root word has been speculated to be mandala, referring to circular plains or Mandara, a mountain from Hindu mythology.

Mandalay was founded by King Mindon in 1859, and was the last capital of an independent Burmese kingdom, annexed by the British in 1885. The city was built at the foot of Mandalay Hill; it was prophesied by the Lord Buddha that this spot would become a ‘Metropolis of Buddhism’ on the 2,400th jubilee celebration of the founding of Buddhism. In January 1857 the king issued a proclamation to establish a new kingdom (and city) to fulfill the prophecy. The royal city of Amarapura was moved by teams of elephants in July 1858 to the new site at the foot of Mandalay Hill.

The new city was called Yadanabon Naypyidaw, but in the Pali language it was known as Ratanapura, the ‘City of Gems.’ Its name was later changed to Mandalay, after the hill rising above it. When the British captured Mandalay in 1885, King Thibaw and his queen, Supayalat, fled to exile in India. The palace and fort were re-named Fort Dufferin, with the palace used for housing British and Indian troops. Many of the palace’s treasures were looted by the troops; and some of the most important pieces were sent to England where they can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum today.

During WWII, Mandalay was captured by the Japanese in May 1942. The occupying forces turned the palace and fort into a supply depot, which suffered significant damage from British bombing raids during the liberation of the city in early 1945. It wasn’t until the 1990s that a replica of the original palace was completed. 

Atumashi Monastery

The Atumashi Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in Mandalay.
It was built in 1857 by King Mindon, two years after the capital was moved to Mandalay. ] The original monastery structure was built using teak, covered with stucco on the outside, with its peculiar feature being that it was surmounted by five graduated rectangular terraces instead of the traditional pyatthats, Burmese-style tiered and spired roofs.
The structure burned down in 1890 after a fire in the city destroyed both the monastery and the 9.1 m tall Buddha image, as well as complete sets of the Tipitaka. During the fire, a 19.2-carat diamond, which adorned the Buddha image (originally given to King Bodawphaya by Maha Nawrahta, the Governor of Arakan) disappeared as well.

burmamandalyAtumashi Monasteryatumashi kyaungအတုမရှိကျောင်း