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. 

Shwenandaw Monastery

Shwenandaw Monastery (Burmese: ရွှေနန်းတော်ကျောင်း; "Golden Palace Monastery") is a historic Buddhist monastery.
Shwenandaw Monastery was built in 1878 by King Thibaw Min, who dismantled and relocated the apartment formerly occupied by his father, King Mindon Min, just before Mindon Min's death. Thibaw removed the building in 10 October 1878, believing it to be haunted by his father's spirit. The building reconstruction was finished in 31 Oct 1878, dedicated in memory of his father, on a plot adjoining Atumashi Monastery.
The monastery is known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths, which adorn its walls and roofs. The monastery is built in the traditional Burmese architectural style. Shwenandaw Monastery is the single remaining major original structure of the original Royal Palace today.

burmamandalyShwenandaw Monasterymonasteryရွှေနန်းတော်ကျောင်း