Mandalay, Mahamuni Buddha temple • Myanmar

Discover the awe-inspiring Golden Buddha of Mahamuni in a captivating video spanning just over 5 minutes. Located in the spiritual heart of Mandalay, Myanmar, this statue stands as a monumental feat of both religious reverence and artistic craftsmanship. Renowned as a faithful reproduction of Buddha's face, the Mahamuni statue is one of only five in the world claiming a perfect likeness. Unearth the rich, multi-layered history surrounding this 4-meter, 6.5-ton bronze marvel, from its disputed origins to its enduring significance in Buddhist lore. Don't miss this chance to delve into a sacred masterpiece that has captivated devotees and tourists alike.
00:00 • intro | 00:37 • ceremony with children | 01:58 • men sticking gold leaves on Buddha statue | 04:35 • the Mahamuni temple

made with photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

the temple of Mahamuni Buddha

The expression Mahamuni Buddha means "the Great Sage". A magnificent statue of Buddha is worshiped inside this majestic temple. The statue is reputed to reproduce exactly the face of Buddha. There would be in the world (s) only five statures can claim a perfect likeness of Buddha, of which two are in India, two in paradise and the last here, in this temple of the Mahamuni Buddha.

This statue was made in present-day Arakan state, a coastal state that has a short border with Bangladesh, now infamous for the Rohinga massacres.

History of the Buddha statue

According to legend, this bronze statue of almost 4 meters high weighing 6.5 tons, perfectly resembling the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama would have been made during the lifetime of the great man. But no historical verification confirms this belief. What we do know, however, is that she is from Arakan. It is said to have been created by local craftsmen in the 5th century BC and that as early as the middle of the 11th century, King Anawratha of Bagan vainly tried to transport the golden Buddha to his city, Bagan.

Another military expedition, this time under the Konbaung dynasty, was successful and confiscated all of the kingdom's relics, including this statue of Buddha, and brought this loot back to the capital Amarapura, currently a suburb of Mandalay. However, the statue was too large to be able to transport it as it is. It was therefore cut into pieces which were to be reassembled in the temple intended to receive it.

The statue suffered greatly from two major fires, in 1879 and 1884. The temple where this Mahamuni Buddha was kept had to be destroyed and the statue itself suffered some damage. After the fire, a significant amount of molten gold was recovered and this gold was used to make the robe that the Buddha wears today. A new temple was built in 1896 around the original sanctuary.

Later, in 1996, the ruling military decided to carry out renovations to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The following year, a hole was discovered in the belly of the Buddha. There was a rumor that the statue was filled with precious stones. It was then that, to distract people's attention from the statue, a young Muslim was accused of having raped a young Buddhist. This accusation was false, but the goal was achieved. No one paid attention to this hole in the belly of the statue until the repair could be made.

 

about the place, Mandalay:

Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is Myanmar's second city after Yangon (Rangoon). Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, Mandalay became the capital of the Konbaung dynasty in place of Amarapura.

It was also the last royal capital of Burma before annexation by the British in 1885. However, it remained a leading commercial and cultural center during the British era.

The city was devastated during the conquest of Burma by Japan in World War II and it became part of the newly independent Union of Burma in 1948.

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

The Mahamuni Temple in Myanmar is an important place of pilgrimage. The temple owes its name to the Buddha statue it houses. The statue is made of bronze, is 4 meters high and weighs 6.5 tons. This statue would have been brought back by King Bodaupaya as war prize. As is the case with many statues in Myanmar, the statue is covered in gold leaf by devotees. During our visit, there was a ceremony and many little girls were present in their most beautiful dresses.

the statue of Buddha, Mandalay • Myanmar
entrance to the temple of Mahamuni Buddha, Mandalay • Myanmar

entrance to the temple of Mahamuni Buddha

sale of flowers at the entrance to the temple of Mahamuni Buddha, Mandalay • Myanmar

sale of flowers at the entrance to the temple of Mahamuni Buddha

men sticking gold leaf on the statue of Buddha, Mandalay • Myanmar

men sticking gold leaf on the statue of Buddha

children attending a ceremony at Mahamuni Buddha temple, Mandalay • Myanmar

children attending a ceremony at Mahamuni Buddha temple

Mandalay, Myanmar

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