Mandalay Hill Description:
Mandalay Hill rises nearly 000 feet above the flat plains, dominating the skyline of the city of Mandalay.
A pilgrimage sight for Myanmar’s Buddhist population for more than two centuries, Mandalay Hill has a high concentration of Buddhist religious iconography, temples, and shrines along its four covered staircases that lead to the summit. The viewpoint at the summit provides a scenic vista of the Mandalay Palace and the city.
The popular southern route to the summit is guarded by two chinthes (mythical lion creatures that guard pagodas in Myanmar). The path itself is considered a merit-making journey, and pilgrims, monks, and travelers make the trek along the stone staircase barefoot.
Along the path to the summit lies the Shweyattaw Buddha image. Buddhist tradition in Myanmar holds that Gautama Buddha visited Mandalay Hill after finding enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Northern India, and prophesized that a great capital would be built at the base of Mandalay hill. The standing Buddha image’s outstretched arm points towards the Mandalay Palace in a gesture that seems to validate the ancient prophesy.
Best Time to Visit Mandalay Hill:
The best weather to climb Mandalay Hill is during the dry season between November and May when the temperatures are warm and the skies clear. The rainy season follows, June to October, restoring the parched land to a verdant green.
How to get to Mandalay Hill:
The merit-making act of climbing the more than 1,700 stairs to the summit of Mandalay Hill is one of the most important pilgrimages in Myanmar, and the summit’s sweeping views of the plains of Mandalay are stunning. We consider it a must-do experience.
Mandalay Hill Highlights:
Mandalay Hill rises from the flat plains of central Myanmar just north of the city of Mandalay. The city is best reached by direct flight departing from Yangon to the south. Once in Mandalay, guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar are chauffeured by a private vehicle around the city.
The summit can be reached either on foot (about a 30 minute climb), or via a paved access road that bypasses all but the last few stairs leading up the hill.
Buddhist traditions require visitors to temples and shrines to cover their shoulders, arms, and knees in modesty. Should you choose to climb the main southern staircase to the top of the hill, you must remove your shoes to do so. The other staircases allow visitors to keep their footwear on.