The Mahamuni Buddha Image

Legend has it that after he visited the town of Arakan in 554BC, a cast was made of the Buddha, Mahamuni Buddaha Image, who then breathed on it, resulting in a perfect likeness. This statue is now the centrepiece of a temple located on the outskirts of Mandalay, the last royal capital, that ranks among Myanmar’s holiest sites, and it is reverentially cleaned daily by the resident monks, a fascinating ritual not to be missed. In 1884 a fire damaged the pagoda, and over 90kg of gold was recovered from the statue, which had been laid by the faithful in tribute.

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