There are several other temples and monasteries at the base of Mandalay Hill. The most impressive is probably Shwenandaw Kyaung, a teak structure built within the palace walls as a residence for King Mindon. The building was converted to a monastery and moved to its current site east of the palace after Mindon died in it, as it was considered bad luck by his son, Thibaw; this later saved it from burning alongside the palace’s other buildings.

Close by is Atumashi Kyaung, a temple originally built in the 1850s to house a Buddha statue that went missing – complete with the diamond in its forehead – when the British took the city. The current building is a reconstruction dating back to the 1990s.

Kuthodaw Paya, just north of Atumashi Kyaung, is home to a set of 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tipitaka (the canon of Theravada Buddhist scriptures), each kept in its own small stupa. Impressive in its sheer scale, the set has been described as the world’s largest book. The nearby Sandamuni Paya has marble slabs with commentaries on the same scriptures, while the centrepiece of the Kyauktawgyi Paya (just west of Sandamuni Paya) is a huge Buddha carved from a single piece of marble. It’s the site of the city’s biggest festival every October.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Myanmar (Burma) features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

Buddhism has ancient roots in Myanmar, and its influence is all pervasive – arguably more so than in any other Southeast Asian country. Everywhere you go you …

28 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
12 photos that prove Myanmar (Burma) is most beautiful at sunset

12 photos that prove Myanmar (Burma) is most beautiful at sunset

Sunset is one of our favourite times of the day – it's an excuse to sit back, drink in hand and take in the scenery, whether you're high above your favourite …

23 May 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
9 tips for backpacking Myanmar (Burma)

9 tips for backpacking Myanmar (Burma)

In 2011, after 15 years of a tourism boycott to avoid aiding the oppressive military junta, Myanmar opened its doors to visitors. The country, now with a democr…

16 May 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month