Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar’s Largest Marble Buddha

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay enshrines Myanmar’s largest Buddha image made of marble. And of all the pagodas I’ve been to in Mandalay, this was the busiest. Buddhist devotees come and go – some of them are from a faraway land. It’s free to enter, as long as you are willing to go barefoot inside.

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar's Largest Marble Buddha
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar’s Largest Marble Buddha

Bring Wet Tissues

Here’s a tip no one told me about when visiting a temple or a pagoda in Myanmar – bring a pack of wet tissues. I realized I needed this when I exited Sule Pagoda in Yangon, the first one I visited. Just because you go in barefoot, the floor was clean. Not at all. It was appalling how much dirt my sole, ankle, and heel accumulated. Unfortunately, visitors have to remove their socks, too.

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar's Largest Marble Buddha
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar’s Largest Marble Buddha

This temple is sacred to the locals that it has its own pagoda Festival every October.

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar's Largest Marble Buddha
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar’s Largest Marble Buddha

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay

The locals call the marble sitting Buddha Maha Thetkya Mayazin. It has a width of 24ft, a height of 37 ft, and a weight of 600 tons!

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar's Largest Marble Buddha
Maha Thetkya Mayazin (Myanmar)

No wonder, it took 10,000 – 12,000 people in 13 days to transport it from Sagyin Hill, 19 kilometers from Mandalay, to where it is now.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

Though the pagoda was built in 1853, it was not finished until 1878. Delays were caused by palace rebellion and internal disagreements.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

The original design of the pagoda was after Bagan’s Ananda Temple. However, the completed structure did not resemble anything from its primary plan.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

The interior is pretty big, including a backyard with gardens and more white stupas.

Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

There are also interesting and detailed architectural designs that deserve compliments.

Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

Look up and you will see well-sculpted wooden beams and amazing vaulted roofs!

Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

Go around and you will find unusual statues sprinkled around the area. You also can’t miss the century-old Bodhi tree!

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar's Largest Marble Buddha
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda in Mandalay Enshrines Myanmar’s Largest Marble Buddha

There is also a gigantic gong in the garden. A man handed me the bat (?) and told me to bang it 3 times. He volunteered to take my photo and I really had no idea what it was for. Let me know in the comment if you know. 🙂

Gong buddhist bell bang drum
Things to do in Mandalay, Myanmar

Where is it?

If you are planning to go to Mandalay Hill, you can’t miss this pagoda! It’s right at the bottom of and before you enter the hill. It’s also close to the Royal Palace moat.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

From Kyauk Taw Gyi, walk across the street and visit the Sandamuni Pagoda known for its forest of white stupas.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

Cheap Hotel in Mandalay

I stayed at Hotel Iceland. It’s a basic but nice hotel within walking distance to the town center. There are a lot of convenience shops, restaurants, and food stalls in the area. The rooms are clean and the staff members are nice. They serve breakfast on the top floor overlooking the city. You can book it via Booking, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. If you are looking for a hostel, you can find it here.

Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)
Tourist attractions in Mandalay (Myanmar)

KeepCalmAndWander

A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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