Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay

1 reviews

Mahamuni is the most famous of all the religious places in Mandalay. It is not a pagoda but an image of the Lord Buddha, believed to have been cast in the Lord’s lifetime in the very presence of the Lord according to the tradition. Over the years pilgrims have covered it with gold leaf, so that some parts of the body are now barely recognizable.

Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay

Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay

Legends tell that Guatama Buddha once went to teach among the people of Dhannavati (now the northern Rakhine region of Burma/Myanmar). The king, Candra-suriya, requested that Guatama leave an image of himself for the benefit of the people. Buddha sat for a week of meditation under a Bodhi tree while Sakka, a king of the gods, created a life-like image of great beauty. Buddha was pleased with the image and decided to imbue it with his spiritual essence for a period of five thousand years.

According to ancient tradition, only five likenesses of the Buddha were said to have been made during his lifetime: Two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Maha Muni or “Great Sage”. Archaeologists believe the image was probably cast during the reign of King Chandra Surya, who ascended the throne in AD 146, some 600 years after the Buddha actually passed away. Little is known of the Maha Muni‘s travels over the next fifteen hundred years. It was stolen and moved around by various kings. At other times it was buried beneath a crumbling temple in a forgotten jungle. The image was brought to Mandalay in 1784 by King Bodawpaya and placed within the specially built Payagi Pagoda. Since that time it has been the most venerated Buddha image in all of Burma.

The statue is 3.8 meters tall. Originally cast of metal, it is now entirely coated with a two-inch thick layer of gold leaf. So much gold leaf has been applied by so many different hands that the figure has developed an irregular outline. Many thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine each day and a great festival in early February draws hundreds of thousands.

In a courtyard of the Payagi Pagoda, near the Maha Muni, are six Khmer bronze statues – three lions, a three-headed elephant and two warriors – that originally stood as guardians of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple. The statues of the warriors are reputed to have miraculous healing qualities. Legends tell that rubbing a body part of either of the statues will cure an affliction in the corresponding part of your own body. When these statues were originally brought to the Maha Muni temple following a long and circuitous journey around Southeast Asia, there were no healing legends associated with them. After centuries at the temple the statues came to be regarded as having healing powers, but nothing is known of when or how this legend began. It is fascinating to reflect that the healing powers of the statues seem to have been generated over time by the intention and beliefs of the countless thousands of visiting pilgrims. For some long-forgotten reason, people once began rubbing the statues while making prayers for healing. These prayers somehow charged, or energized, the statues with a power, which is believed to have caused many thousands of incidents of miraculous healing. While most contemporary scientists will scoff at such an idea, the fact of the matter is that otherwise unexplainable healings have indeed occurred. We can offer no other explanation for this miraculous phenomenon, but remember that merely because conventional science cannot currently explain something does not mean it is impossible.

Hynos Travel provides a wide range of day tours, multi-day tours, tour packages which daily depart from Yangon. For more information or tour reservation, please contact info@hynostravel.com

Related Tours

  • 1 reviews

    Spend your 3 days visiting Myanmar’s second largest city’s sites and environs. Witness the spectacular sight of red robed monks collecting their daily alms. Explore the Ancient Cities of Sagaing, Ava and Amarapura and spend time learning about local handicrafts…

    Location: Mandalay, Myanmar

    Duration: 3 days 2 nights

    From USD $0 See details
  • 1 reviews

    Visit the best of VIETNAM, CAMBODIA, LAOS and MYANMAR (BURMA) in this 30 day tour. Exploring the hidden charm of Vietnam, the greatest history of Cambodia, the lovely Laos and the golden land of Myanmar.

    Location: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

    Duration: 30 days 29 nights

    From USD $4500 See details
  • 3 reviews

    Visit Yangon, explore every corner of the great Sule Pagoda and many other pagodas. Continue your exploring to Bagan, the capital of first Burmese Empire. It covers more than 49 square kilometers containing over 2000 pagodas and one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia…

    Location: Myanmar

    Duration: 5 days 4 nights

    From USD $945 See details
  • 6 reviews

    See the Best of Myanmar with a 7-day tour that’ll take you from Yangon to Bagan, Mandalay, Heho. Explore the famous sights of each area, seeing the most famous Sule Pagoda and so much more.

    Location: Myanmar

    Duration: 7 days 6 nights

    From USD $1280 See details
  • 2 reviews

    A journey through the stunning landscapes of Myanmar from its fabulous blend of colonial and local architecture in Yangon to shining pagodas in Mandalay and vibrant markets and stilted houses over Inle Lake. Learn about the loves of local people who make…

    Location: Myanmar

    Duration: 8 days 7 nights

    From USD $1450 See details
  • 3 reviews

    See the Best of Myanmar with a 8-day tour that’ll take you from Yangon to Bagan, Mandalay, Heho! Enjoy a cruise from Mandalay to Bagan. Explore the famous sights of each area, seeing the most famous Sule Pagoda Pagoda and much more.

    Location: Myanmar

    Duration: 8 days 7 nights

    From USD $2900 See details
  • 5 reviews

    Traveling on diversions away from the main sites and into the heart of the country. Admire architectural marvels, discover different cultures, and learn the secrets behind local arts and crafts on a journey to see the very best Myanmar has to offer.

    Location: Myanmar

    Duration: 11 days 10 nights

    From USD $1690 See details
  • 6 reviews

    Spend time to visit the most famous and essential attractions in Yangon, Mandalay, Amarapura, Bagan, covering the historical heritages, natural landscapes and local hospitality. Then fly to Siem Reap. Visit Angkor to be impressed by the magnificent temples and enjoy the sunset from the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup…

    Location: Myanmar & Cambodia

    Duration: 12 days 11 nights

    From USD $2160 See details