Mahamuni Buddhist Temple in Mandalay
Myanmar, Mandalay Region

The Mahamuni Buddhist Temple in Mandalay is located in the southwestern part of the country's second largest city, in the former capital of Burma, on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. The temple is famous for its four-meter statue of Buddha Mahamuni. The statue is one of the most important Buddhist shrines in the country, which is considered the image of the Buddha during his lifetime. According to legend, the statue was created in 554 BC, during a visit to the capital of Arakan. According to legend, Buddha sanctified this statue with his aura, since this Buddhist image pleased him. The statue of Mahamuni was created during the life of the Great Enlightened One, and was brought in 1784 from the conquered Arakan kingdom along with six bronze statues (Ayvarat elephant, 3 mythical lions and 2 warriors in the form of Shiva). The statue is cast in bronze, its height is almost 4 meters, weight is about 6.5 tons. Buddha statue stands on a pedestal more than 2 meters high. Access to it for men is not limited, and for women is prohibited. Women pray humbly while sitting down on the platform. They can pray and admire the shrine only outside the premises. Men are allowed to cover the Buddha statue with thin pieces of gold leaf sold at the temple. Currently, the Buddha statue is covered with gold by 15 centimeters, except for the face, since the face of the saint is an exception, it is forbidden to apply layers of gold leaf on it. The statue is periodically cleaned of gold. A feature of the Mahamuni Buddhist Temple is that the headpiece of Buddha is covered with very beautiful carvings interspersed with rubies and emeralds, and the ceiling is decorated with jewelry donated by believers. The other six bronze statues brought from Arakan, along with a statue of Buddha, are exhibited in the courtyard of the temple. They are used to heal pilgrims. A sore spot of the body must be attached to one of the statues. Pilgrims from around the world annually visit the Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay.

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