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Mandalay Palace

Mandalay Palace

Mandalay Palace Wall Hill & Moat

Mandalay Palace Rebuilt.

Since the old Mandalay Palace was torched by a Japanese aircraft bombe during WW2  it took until the 198x until the military convinced rich local Chinese to finance the rebuilding. 

It needs to understand that Burma was not a party in WW2 the Japanese came in because of the British and the US and after the British run away back to India were they started their occupation of Burma. So finally the Japanese did a good job because their war finished the the British  and US colonialism over there and finally disappeared after a short intermezzo after WW2. But they never gave up to harras the Burmese / Myanmars since they didnt do what the Anglo - Saxons wanted.

The Mandalay Royal Palace is of traditional Myanmar wooden architecture

Typical style with highly-ornamented and gilded buildings and glass mosaichave been used everywhere. Actually the Mandalay Palace is a must see destination when visiting the second largest city in Myanmar.

The third largest city in former Burma is Mawlamyine southeast of Yangon .
Unfortunately, the original Palace was razed to the ground by Japanese bombing during World War II in 1944 but the exact and faithful replica of the palace buildings are rebuilt and restored in 1989 according to original design and plan. Behind the Great Audience Hall is the Chamber of the Lion Throne, precisely placed under the spire of the palace.

The base of the Lion Throne is formed of two lotuses; the upper one inverted on the top of the other. This pattern is different from the ordinary altar supporting Buddha image. At the center, at the narrowest point, the two lotuses meet, there is a band, containing row of niches, where figures of lions are embedded.

On the outer edged of each jamb, there are seven divas (angels), altogether fourteen for both sides. On the top of the two jambs, on each side of lintel, is another figure of divas, altogether sixteen in number. On the top of the lintel, right in the center is Sakka (Thagamin) at the head of divas. Sakka, being the Lord of Tavatimsa Heaven (the Abode of Thirty Three) takes interest in human affairs what the Myanmar Kings have done on earth. His presence assures divine protection for the Myanmar King.

At the top and bottom of the jambs, just against the sliding door are four Lokapalas (Guardians of the universe) who are in charge of it, one at each point of the compass. Thus, the Lion Throne at Mandalay Place symbolizes the centre of the universe and Myanmar King, the centre of the human world. In the middle of each jamb, between each two Lokapalas, on the left is a peacock and on the other side is a rabbit. The peacock is the symbol of the sun and the rabbit plus the moon.
Mandalay Palace Legends
Mandalay Palace Photos
There is a hoary ancient legend that in the past, there were two great dynasties, viz., Solar Dynasty (Suriyavamsa) and the Lunar Dynasty (Candra Vamsa)

The Myanmar Kings claims to be direct descendants of these ancient dynasties and hence, the peacock and the rabbit symbolized the supposed origin of Myanmar Kings.

There is also another interesting legend which depicts and describes Myanmar King’s love and desire to ensure peace and prosperity of the country. Once there is a flying lion and a flying elephant that get into a heated dispute over eating of light clouds in the sky.

While their conflict is about to develop into a bitter struggle and fight to death a diva (angel) intervened and started singing a beautiful song and dance, with small cymbals tied at the ankle. The two ferocious animals are so enchanted and enamored at that they instantly cease fighting and come to peaceful terms.

​Hence, the figure of the lion symbolizes the King’s attitude and cetana (compassion and empathy) to preserve and perpetuate peace, stability and prosperity in the kingdom. THE LION THRONE typified and illustrates that Myanmar Monarch is deemed to be the centre of the universe and hub of the human world, where everything revolves around the same.

​Connecting the Lion Throne Chamber and the Zaytawun Saung (pavilion), lies a small room this is Sanu Chamber. From there, the King’s orders are forwarded. Zetawun Saung (Goose Throne Room) is the palace where King Mindon held state receptions.

The said throne is adorned and decorated with twelve  figures of Hinthas (Noble and mythical bird). Hintha has been the national emblem of the Mons, whereas peacock is the emblem of Myanmars. Behind it is the Baung Daw Pavilion where the King put on royal regalia .
  1. Mandalay Palace Audience Hall and Lion Throne
  2. view from Mandalay Hill during monsoon
  3. Mandalay Palace in 1886
  4. King Thibaw's bed

The Burmese Royals

Queen Supayalat and King Mindon Min was the last royal couple of Burma who reigned in Mandalay (1878–1885). Born to them was King Mindon which was the last Burmese King he weas exilrd to India by the British who were beaten by Japanese and fleed to India they got what they deserved.

King Mindon
Queen Supayalat and King Mindon Min
To the north is the Laphet Yay (Tea Room) where young pages are kept busy carrying messages and serve tea. On the south is the Shwetaik (Treasury). Behind the Baungdaw Pavilion is the famous Hman Nan Daw HMAN (the Glass Palace) known for the walls covered with glass mosaics. Throughout the night, the lights are kept burning; extolled by poets the abode of the celestials.
Mandalay Palace Interior
Mandalay Palace Pricinct
​​Here, the now famous and celebrated Myanmar History known as Hman-Nan Chronicle is written. Close to it is the King Thibaw’s private small brick pavilion, which is unassuming but comfortable. The place is opposite the Sedona Hotel in Mandalay City .

Behind this pavilion, there are quite a number of other houses, such as theatre, residences for lesser queens and handmaidens. These smaller buildings are surrounded by verdant gardens and parks overlooked by a Watch Tower.

Like the other ancient cities of Myanmar and pan-Asiatic ones, the Royal City of Mandalay with battlemented walls and lotus-speckled moat which reverberates and reflects the pomp and power, and grandeur of Myanmar’s past.

The city walls stands on a square plan, each side, measuring 1 mile 2 furlongs and 55 yards long (2050 m). Overall, it stretches to 5 miles and 1 furlong (8.3 km). The brick walls have the width of 10 ft (3 m). There are about 3800 merlons on the walls each having loopholes, 2 ft-9 in (1.8m). Wide on each side, there are three gates, totaling twelve, each guarded by a bastion with a turret with tiers of pavilion roofs. In between the gateways, with two turreted bastions, at each corner, there are 48 turrets. The moat is 225 ft (69 m) wide and 11 ft (3.3 m) deep spanned by a wooden bridge at the central gate.

The Mandalay Palace Moat

The Mandalay Palace Moat is spanned over by five wooden bridges leading to the four principal or middle gates, that is, one to each face of the walls.

The fifth leading to the south-western gate is known as the Alawi Gate which is also known as Funeral Bridge, through which the dead bodies are carried outside to be buried. No dead body is to bury within the royal city. Myanmar concept of Amangala (Inauspiciousness) is associated with the corpses.

King Mindon however broke this venerable ancestral custom and ritual. The king desiring his body to be buried within the palace enclosure instead of being cremated was duly complied with great pomp. His tomb is still standing near the palace to-day after the British exiled the King and Queen to India they moved the capital to Yangon (Rangoon). 

The moat is 225 ft (69 m) wide and 11 ft (3.3 m) deep and spanned by a wooden bridge at the central gate on each side. Previously, the moat water is continually replenished by the canal Ratana Nadi.
  1. Mandalay palace wall and moat
  2. Mandalay palace wall and moat (2)
  3. Mandalay palace wall and moat (4)
  4. Mandalay palace wall and moat (2)