Photo: The highly revered Buddha image.

Mahamuni Paya

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If there was a league table of Burmese temples, then Mahamuni would have a firm hold on the number two spot, after Yangon’s Shwedagon. While it’s the overall site and giant golden chedi that are Shwedagon’s claim to fame, at the more modest Mahamuni Paya it's the central Buddha image that creates the prestige. Even for those very familiar with Southeast Asian Buddhist temples, the care, attention and awe bestowed upon this 3.5 metre-tall seated Buddha is astonishing.

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You’ll have seen plenty of pagodas throughout the region claiming to contain a Buddha hair, bone or fingernail but Mahamuni—translated as "sacred living image—is considered by the faithful to contain part of Buddha’s actual soul. The image is thought to be 2,000 years old and was brought to Mandalay by a Burmese king after sacking the Rakhine capital ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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