mandalay divisionMandalay is the capital of Mandalay division.

It has an area of 36595 sq-km and the population is over 4.6 million.

The present day second Capital of Myanmar after Mandalay is located in the upper Myanmar about 68 Km due north of Yangon.

A brief introduction of Mandalay (Yadanabon), Myanmar's second capital and a city of regal identity, famous pagodas, religious edifices, and the enchanting city of ancient Bagan where visitors will find not only Myanmar art and culture and handicrafts but also the scenic beauty of Upper Myanmar and Shan State.

Mandalay (Yadanabon)

Mandalay (Yadanabon), the last capital of the Myanmar Kingdom, is in Central Myanmar, 688km due north of Yangon. It is the largest city after Yangon and is the place where one will come closest to real Myanmar.

The Royal City came into being only in 1859 when " King Mindon" established it as new center for the teaching of Buddhism. The King also made Mandalay his capital, moving it from nearby Amarapura to the newly built Royal Palace at the foot of the Mandalay Hill.

Being rich in monasteries and pagodas, it is still accepted as the arts and cultural heart-land of Myanmar. For lovers of arts and crafts, Mandalay represents the largest repository of Myanmar arts and crafts. Skilled crafts men make world famous genie tapestry called Shwe Chi Htoe (Golden Weaving) tapestry, beautiful articles of ivory, wood, and stone, silver-ware and bronze statues according to the time-honored traditions of their fore-fathers.

The city and Mandalay Fort

King Mindon decided to fulfill the prophecy and during his reign in the Kingdom of Amarapura he issued a royal order on 13 January, 1857 AD to establish a new kingdom. The Ceremony of Ascending the Throne was celebrated in July, 1858 and the former royal city of Amarapura was dismantled and moved by elephant to the new location at Mandalay Hill. With the Ground-breaking ceremony, King Mindon laid the foundation of Mandalay on the 6th waning day of Kason, (1857 AD). The King simultaneously laid the foundations of seven edifices: the royal city with the battlemented walls, the moat surrounding it, the Maha Lawka Marazein Stupa, the higher ordination hall named the Pahtan-haw Shwe Thein, the Atumashi (the Incomparable) monastery, the Thudhama Zayats or public houses for preaching the Doctrine, and the library for the Buddhist scriptures.

The whole royal city was called Lay Kyun Aung Mye (Victorious Land over the Four Islands) and the royal palace, the Mya Nan San Kyaw (The Royal Emerald Palace). The new kingdom was called the Kingdom of Yadanabon, along with other name Ratanapura, mean "The Bejeweled Site". It was finally renamed to Mandalay which is a derivative of the Pali word "Mandala", which means "a plains land" and also of the Pali word "Mandare", which means "an auspicious land."

Mandalay would be captured just 29 years later and the palace would become the British headquarters, known as Fort Dufferin, of Upper Myanmar.

During world war II, the Japanese, seeking to cut China's supply line, occupied Indochina. However, a new supply line via Burma had already been opened in January 1939. This Burma route went from Yangon to Chungking via Mandalay, Lashio, Paoshan and Kungming. Tens of thousands of tons of war materiel reached the Chinese nationalists by this route, creating difficulties for the Japanese army, which became desperate to cut this supply line. Thus, Japan with the support of local nationalist groups such as the Burma Defense Army under their command invaded Myanmar and captured Mandalay on May 2, 1942. The fort which contained the palace was turned into a Japanese supply depot and was heavily bombed by the British prior to their liberation of the city in March 1945 as part of an overland operation to recapture the capital and port of Yangon.

In 1948, with the formation of the Union Of Myanmar, the city became the capital of Mandalay Division.


Ayeyawaddy Division Bago Division  Chin State Taninthayi Divison
Mandalay Division Kayin State Kaya State  Magway Division
  Sagaing Division Rakhine State Mon State  Yangon Division
  Kachin State Shan State