Our last stop in our Myanmar tour was in Mandalay, the second largest city after Yangon. It’s a fairly young city (161 years old) with an intriguing history, founded on February 13, 1857 by King Mindon. So, here’s our most unique and best experience in the city: The visit to the world’s largest book at Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Have you ever heard about it before? Personally, I never knew such a place existed.
Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the “World’s Largest Book”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It was built in 1857 by King Mindon. The monks started working for the World’s Largest Book on October 14, 1860, and the inscriptions on all the stones were completed and it was opened to the public on May 4, 1868.
The World’s Largest Book contains 730 marble slabs – it means there are 730 leaves and 1460 pages. A page (one side of the slab) has approximately 80 to 100 lines of Buddhist inscriptions called Tripitaka, chiseled-out and originally filled in with gold ink. Each slab (1.53m tall) is housed in its own stupa. Literally, we saw endless rows of geometrically arranged small bright white shrines – symmetry at its finest!
We leisurely strolled around the pagoda at around 4PM. We enjoyed the serenity of this splendid structure’s inner courtyard with many Buddha images and flowers. There was hardly anyone around so we virtually had the place to ourselves. We were fascinated while going around, learning the history of the place and seeing the unique architecture. Such an impressive site to see – it really speaks of the value and importance of the Buddha’s teachings for the people.
We liked it a lot, and certainly the best place of interest we visited in Mandalay. The World´s largest book is definitely worth to be seen and the whitewashed stupas make for great photos.
Little Lilly travel tips:
- Highly recommended to ALL travelers.
- It’s close to Mandalay Hill so it’s convenient to visit this in the afternoon at around 4 pm because this Temple is next to Mandalay hill, a good place to watch for sunset at 5.30 pm.
- It’s a big area, so allow yourself to wander around for an hour.
- Dress modestly – no showing anything above the knees or shoulder parts.
- NO shoes and socks allowed, so bring wet tissues to wash your feet afterwards.
- NO camera fee.