Chief city of the Mandalay division of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and second city of the county, on the River Irrawaddy, about 495 km/370 mi north of the capital Yangon; population (2001 est) 1,037,000. The city is a major centre of commerce and of transport by road, rail, river, and air. Industries include tourism, tea packing, silk weaving, brewing, and food processing, as well as crafts such as wood carving and the fashioning of gold and silver objects. It is also a leading centre of Buddhist culture.
Founded by King Mindon Min in 1857, Mandalay was capital of Myanmar 1857–85. It has many pagodas, such as Kuthodaw, where, on over 700 marble slabs, the whole Buddhist canon is inscribed, and the Mahamuni (or Arakan) Pagoda, built in 1784 to safeguard a 2nd-century brass statue of the Buddha which has been covered by pilgrims with gold leaf. There are also many temples and monasteries, such as those at Shwenandaw Kyaung.
Mandalay replaced Amarapura (now a suburb of Mandalay) as capital in 1857 and was the last capital of the kingdom of Myanmar, which came under British rule in 1885. The city was occupied by the Japanese in World War II, when it suffered severe damage, especially during its recapture by British forces in 1945.
The Arts and Science University began in 1925 as an affiliate of the University of Yangon, but became an independent university in 1958. Other institutions of higher education in Mandalay include a teacher-training college and agricultural, medical, and technical institutes.
tapestry weaving, Mandalay
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