Mandalay is a city on the eastern of the Irrawaddy River in Mandalay District, Mandalay Region, Myanmar, as the capital of the kingdom and Burmese cultural center which gets its name from Mandalay Hill which is on a mandala or circular plain or Mandara as a mountain of Hindu mythology. The city of 1,225,553 people became the second largest city after Yangon.

Mandalay was founded on February 13, 1857 by order of King Mindon as the new royal capital under Mandalay Hill. The new capital site has an area of 66 sq kilometers (25.5 sq mi) surrounded by four rivers and the royal palace complex is Mandalay Hill. The city is a center of Buddhist culture in Burma that has many monasteries and more than 700 pagodas.

Xvlor Mandalay is the last capital and cultural center of Burmese Kingdom Mandalay is the last capital and cultural center of Burmese Kingdom

In June 1857, the Amarapura royal palace was demolished and moved by an elephant to a new location around Mandalay Hill, although the construction of the palace complex was officially completed on Monday, May 23, 1859. For the next 26 years, Mandalay became the last royal capital of the Konbaung Dynasty until annexation by the United Kingdom.

Mandalay ceased to be the capital on November 28, 1885, when Britain sent King Thibaw Min and Queen Supayalat into exile ending the Third Anglo-Burmese War. In 1925 the British plundered the palace and during World War II the city suffered the most devastating air strikes of war where the Japanese Empire undertook a massive attack.

The city is powerless, three-fifths of houses are destroyed and 2,000 civilians are killed. Many more escaped from the city under Japanese occupation from May 1942 to March 1945. Castle fortress turned into a supply depot by the Japanese and was burned by by Allied bombing.

Burma gained independence from Britain in 1948 and Mandalay became Burma's cultural and economic center again. In November 1959 the city celebrated its 100th anniversary with a festival in Mandalay Hill. The influx of Chinese immigrants from Yunnan in the last twenty years has reshaped the urban ethnic group and increased trade.

Location: Mandalay City, Mandalay District, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Mandalay International Airport. Mandalay is the last capital and cultural center of Burmese Kingdom

Xvlor Mandalay is the last capital and cultural center of Burmese Kingdom

Advice: Mandalay has a "Mandalay Zone Fee" with 10,000 kyat covering most major attractions and lasts for about a week. Tickets are not always checked at all attractions and you may be able to get cheap tickets for some attractions. Access to Mandalay Hill requires an additional entrance fee.

Travel around Mandalay City to some of the most popular attractions including Mandalay Palace, Maha Myat Muni Paya, Kuthodaw Paya, Sandamuni Paya, Shwe Kyi Myin Paya, Shwenandaw Monastery, U Bein Bridge and Atumashi Kyaung.

Mandalay Hill is one of the favorite sunset spots and good quarter day activities where the climb is fun and the scenery is beautiful. You climb the stairs or take a pick-up to the Sutaungpyei Pagoda above, but walking may be worth it to catch the attractions spots along the way.