Sandamuni Pagoda is surrounded by a jungle of white stupas built in a similar style. The moment I saw it while riding on a tuk-tuk, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside.
Looking from the outside gates, the soaring tiny spires of these pagodas beckoned any visitors or passersby. There’s something about them that pulls you towards the gate.
It’s free to enter the Buddhist pagoda. But as soon as you reached the door, you have to take off your footwear, including socks.
From the main entrance, you walk on a covered path. On both sides, you will notice the rows of shrines with stupas all painted in white. Their topmost gold-plated spires are a sight to behold.
There’s a tiny entrance on the right where visitors can pass through to see what’s inside these shrines.
Each shrine contains the teachings of Buddha written on a grey marble slab measuring 1m by 1.5m.
There are 1,774 slabs enshrined here and it might take you a whole day to see each of them. I think I’ve inspected 20 of them and then continued to the main pagoda.
At the end of the covered path, this towering, golden stupa welcomes you.
I was there around 3:30 in the afternoon and candles were all over the place.
I asked this lady but, unfortunately, she can’t speak English. So, I assumed there was a ceremony later that night.
Also, unfortunately, the main golden stupa is under renovation, so there’s no way to peek what’s inside.
However, this main stupa houses Myanmar’s largest iron Buddha statue from which it got its name, Sandamani.
Standing on the main platform, you’ll see the Su Taung Pyae Pagoda nestled on Mandalay hill.
A Little Bit of History
Sandamuni Pagoda was built as a memorial to the murdered crown Prince Kanaung. Two of King Mindon’s sons didn’t like the idea that Kanaung was the next in line to take the royal crown. The crowned Prince’s body and that of his family are entombed in the pagoda complex.
Cheap Stay in Mandalay
I stayed at Hotel Iceland. It’s a basic but nice hotel walking distance to the town centre. 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, , and Expedia. If you are looking for a hostel, you can find it here.