Every one who arrived in Mandalay- the ancient capital of Myanmar, usually goes to Mandalay Hill, the landmark of Mandalay, which overlooks the city.
The Mandalay Hill is situated to the north-east corner of the Mandalay Royal Palace. It lies from the north to the south, and its altitude is estimated around 236.5 metres above sea level and its height is going up to 167 meters. Mandalay Hill is the natural watch-tower for the visitors to watch sunrise or sunset over the city plains. Every one who arrived in Mandalay- the ancient capital of Myanmar, usually goes to Mandalay Hill, the landmark of Mandalay, which overlooks the city.
The place from which the city gets its name, Mandalay Hill is a welcome respite from the heat and dust of the streets, and offers stunning panoramic views of the whole city, the Irrawaddy River, and the the distant hills. Mandalay Hill is a holy site which is said to have been climbed by the Buddha, who prophesied that a great city would be built here, where his teachings would flourish.
Mandalay Hill is known for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries, and has been a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists for nearly two centuries. At the top of the hill is the Sutaungpyei Pagoda. A panoramic view of Mandalay from the top of Mandalay Hill makes it worthwhile to attempt a climb up its stairways. There are four covered stairways called 'saungdan' leading up the hill and convenient seats line these stairways all the way up. A one-way motor road today saves time and also makes it accessible for those who are unable to climb up the stairs, leading to an escalator and a lift to the pagoda at the summit.
The barefooted walk up stairways on the hill's slope is a major part of the experience passing through and around a colorful succession of prayer and shopping opportunities. The climb takes a good 30 minutes, but much longer if you allow for stops en route.
Approximately half-way up the hill the Shweyattaw Temple houses a large goldenstatue of standing Buddha with his right hand pointing toward the Royal Palace and the city below and his faithful disciple, Ananda, prays attentively at his right side. The story is told that when Gautama Buddha visited the hill, he stretched out his hand to the plain below and prophesied that a great city and religious center would be founded at its base.
Image sources: Internet