Mahamuni Pagoda and an impressive golden statue
The Mahamuni Pagoda, also known as the Mahamuni Buddha Temple, is a major Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma. It is highly venerated in Burma, where it is seen as a central part of many citizens’ lives and an expression of Buddha’s existence.
1. History of Mahamuni Pagoda
Mahamuni pagoda, located southwest of Mandalay, is a famous Buddhist relic and the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar. During the 4th Buddha’s visit to Arakan, King Candrasuriya in this area asked for permission to sculpt a statue of Buddha to worship at Mahamuni Temple on Sirigutta Hill, according to legend. The Buddha statue was moved to Arakan in 1784 by King Bodawpaya along with the war booty and captured soldiers. To demonstrate his commitment to Buddhism, he then constructed the present-day Mahamuni pagoda at the base of Mandalay Hill to safeguard the most revered Buddha statue in the area.
One of the part in Mahamuni Pagoda
2. Architecture of Mahamuni Pagoda
A 3.8m tall, 6.5 tons of bronze Buddha statue with precious stones that only men can access stands in the main hall. Men can also use statues to cast gold on. It is a very interesting experience for tourists to try out as devoted Buddhists and visiting pilgrims continue to cover the Mahamuni statue with layers of overlapping gold leaves. The thickness of the gold leaf layer is thought to be up to 15 cm thick. Six bronze statues from the Khmer kingdom, including two male warriors, a three-headed Erawan elephant, and powerful lions are also kept in the Mahamuni Buddha temple. It is said that if a pilgrim touches a specific spot on the bronze statue, all ailments will be cured.
The great golden Mahamuni Buddha
3. The Buddha image washing ritual in Mahamuni pagoda
Every day here, people will hold a ceremony to wash the face of the Buddha statue. Buddha posture is sitting meditation, round face, long ears with piercings; on the head of the Buddha, and wears a hat; a robe. The bronze statue weighs 6.5 tons and stands 1.8 meters tall. The stupa with the statue has three aisles on both sides and in front. The entire ceiling, walls, and body of the statue radiate a brilliant golden color.
The Buddha image washing ritual in Mahamuni pagoda
With the help of about ten young monks and men in white robes, the monk covered the body with yellow cloths. Add a scaffolding across the chest so that the monk stands on the same level as the Buddha’s face.
They hold water in shiny metal vessels. The monk began the ritual with a golden vase spraying water to wet the statue’s face. Then he carefully and slowly wiped the Buddha’s entire face with a sponge, from his forehead, down to his eyes, and down to the sides of his nose. As for the lips, the monk holds a soft brush and gently brushes them back and forth several times.
In the last ritual, the monk used a fan to gently dry the Buddha’s face, while many indigenous men approached the foot of the statue and knelt down to salute.
Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay, Myanmar
4. How to get to the Mahamuni pagoda
Between 82nd and 84th streets is where you’ll find the Mahamuni pagoda. The best way to get there is by private taxi or rickshaw, which from downtown Mandalay will cost about US$ 2 for a rickshaw and US$ 4 for a taxi.
5. Opening hours
The temple complex is accessible every day from 6 am to 8 pm. The temple grounds can become crowded because this is the most revered Buddha image in the nation, especially during Buddhist holidays. Thousands of Buddhist devotees travel to the Mahamuni pagoda for the annual festival in February to honor the Mahamuni Buddha.
6. Entrance fee
Entrance fee is US$ 4 per person.