An enlightened encounter in Mandalay
An enlightened encounter
An integral part of well-being in Myanmar is its connection with Buddhism. With Mandalay taking
an important place in the country’s deeply rooted sense of belief and religious belonging
visitors are guided deep into the epicentre of spiritual wellness.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Unbeknownst to a few, Mandalay is regarded as an unofficial capital for Buddhism. The country’s second-largest city is inundated with spirituality and religious buildings, leaving with a permanent aura of calm and serenity. Before the sun sets, those following in the guiding footsteps of the Lord Buddha fill the streets in search for giving blessings, receiving alms and do their temple duty.
With this strong connection to the teachings of Buddha, a new world opens up for those seeking cleansing of the mind and soul whilst learning more about the guidance monks and nuns give to the ordinary people. Wellness in a less tangible way but a mindful means of exploration, this tour option gets in front and behind the scenes of what’s truly defining Myanmar’s Buddhist connection.
04:30 - 18:00
After a very early morning call, your English-speaking guide will welcome you before heading out to the Mahamuni Pagoda. Said to rival Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon in terms of religious importance, Mandalay’s Mahamuni Pagoda is a blissful example of the importance of Buddhism in the country. Every morning, at around 4:30 am, monks wash and clean the Buddha images which remains often hidden from the naked eye and is a unique means to get first-hand experience of what life as monk entails. Breakfast will be served at your hotel where you quickly have the chance to freshen up before heading towards Sagaing.
Visits to the 46-metre high shrine of the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, an almost mirror image of a revered Sri Lankan temple, the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing bears the same spiritual importance for Buddhist faithful in Myanmar, the wooden structure of the Ariya Wuntha Monastery and the cave temple of Tilawkaguru, constructed in the 17th century, are merely seen as a warm up for a Soon-giving ceremony at the Setkya Dita Nunnery. The act of almsgiving – or Soon – is a spiritual-enriching morning practice. It is here where nuns receive their last meal for the day from local worshippers while in return bless the person for its kind deed.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Sagaing before we make our way to the Mya Setkya Monastery where your guide will explain the importance of monasteries for educational purposes. With the day coming to an end, and seeing the magnificence of the Umin Thonze Pagoda and the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda on our final trail towards Sagaing Hill for panoramic views and its sunset, it is time to head back to Mandalay and your booked hotel.
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