Mahamuni Pagoda (Maha Myat Muni Pagoda)

Attraction 82nd St Mandalay Myanmar (Burma) Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
06:00 AM - 08:00 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
4.00 USD

Mahamuni Pagoda (Maha Myat Muni Pagoda) is good for

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  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Maha Muni is the holiest pagoda of Mandalay and considered the second holiest place in Myanmar just after Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

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Why Mahamuni Pagoda (Maha Myat Muni Pagoda) is special ?

The Maha Myat Muni Pagoda located in southwest Mandalay, also referred to as Mahamuni Pagoda, is considered one of most venerated images for the Buddhists in Myanmar and nearby countries. The image was originally cast in Arakan and moved to Amarapura by Crown Prince Thado Minsaw of Kongbaung dynasty in 1784. Since the image was too large, a new temple was constructed to house the image in Mandalay, the new capital under King Mindon.

It is said that there are only five likeness of the Buddha made in his lifetime – two were in India, two were in paradise, and the last is the Maha Myat Muni image. Arakan King Sanda Thuriya casted the image of Buddha in 554 BC when the Buddha visited Dhanyawadi with his 500 disciples. Sakka, who ruled the Heaven, and his assistant Vissakamma molded the lifelike image in seven days to gift the King. Gautama Buddha “imbued the image with his spiritual essence”, and stated that the image would last for five thousand years.

In the courtyard of Maha Myat Muni temple, you will also find a few bronze statues, which were originally from Angkor Wat of Cambodia. The Siamese took these statues from Angkor Wat to Ayutthaya after claiming victory. King Bayinnaung of Myanmar conquered Ayutthaya and took thirty statues to Bago in 1564. They were brought to Mrauk U by King Razagri after he invaded Bago. In 1785, Crown Prince Thado Minsaw brought them to Amarapura in 1785. The images are believed to cure sickness of those suffering from it.

Since 1988, there is a daily face washing ritual of the Maha Myat Muni Buddha image. The senior monk would wash the face with sandalwood paste and cleanse its teeth as well at 4:30 in the morning. The image has been applied with gold leaf over the years by devotees, that it is now 15cm thick. The crown is decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.


What to explore at Mahamuni Pagoda (Maha Myat Muni Pagoda)?

This pagoda contains the most ancient Buddha image of Myanmar. The seated Mahamuni image is enshrined in a shrine which is topped by seven tiered roof. It is estimated 3.8 m high and weighs 6.5 tons, casted mostly by bronze, gilded by gold leaves of devotees over the time. From ancient time until now, the image is covered by a thick gold layer which is about 15 cm or 200 tons of pure gold and crowned by glittering diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. He now is wearing a royal costume in gold. Compare to his original figure, Buddha is distorted by his own gold leaves except for his face.

The Buddha image washing ritual always takes part in the 4a.m every day of the week. This ritual requires an extremely detailed procedure and takes time to wash face and brush teeth. It is believed that men stand front of Buddha, women stand behind and all of washing steps have to be done by a very senior monk of Mahamuni and numerous assistants.

Also located in Mahamuni, 6 other huge bronze images which were taken from Cambodia are believed to be able to cure several diseases by touching similar body part of the images.

During the Mahamuni Pagoda festival held annually in February, thousands of Buddhist devotees come to pay their homage to the Mahamuni Buddha.


Selling points

  • Famous Maharmyatmuni Buddha Image
  • Most Famous Temple in Mandalay
  • One of the holiest shrines in Myanmar
  • A Major Pilgrimage Site
  • Incredible Buddha statue
Exploring Mandalay with my friends in 3 days

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3.0 days
83.00 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
16 places




82nd St Mandalay Myanmar (Burma)

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Tips for you

  • You can buy handicrafts , souvenirs from shops along the corridors.
    What to buy
  • Women aren't allowed in to the sacred spaces of Buddhist sites in Myanmar and this is no exception.
  • The complex has another large room full of paintings that are worthwhile.
    What to see
  • There's also a hall with a huge relief map of Asia showing the spread of Buddhism.
    What to see


FourSquare View more

Good place to rest at noon. Free wifi available. Only men can go inside touch the Buddha.

TripAdvisor View more

This is one of the holiest shrines in Myanmar. The buddha statue under all the gold is over 1000 years old .Devotees of the Buddhist religion (men only) apply gold leaf to this Buddha as an offering. From the city centre its easy to reach by bike.

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