U KhandiÂ (1868 â€“ 14 January 1949) was aÂ BurmeseÂ hermitÂ known for his works onÂ BuddhistÂ pagodasÂ and other religious buildings inMyanmar. U Khandi maintained the Mandalay Hill and organized many religious activities for 40 years. He was bornÂ MaungÂ Po Maung in Ywathaya village,Â Yamethin DistrictÂ in 1868. U Khandi became hermit in 1900 andÂ meditatedÂ at the Mandalay Thakho hill and Shwe-myin-tin hill. His goodwill organization completed construction and renovation of several building pagodas and religious buildings at hilltops, such as those on theÂ Kyaiktiyo Pagoda.
His work was not only recognised by the Burmese people but also the colonialÂ British government, which gave him and his followersâ€™ special privileges such as free travel certificates and work permits. U Khandi suffered minorÂ paralysisÂ for three years and died on 14 January 1949. Two years later funeral celebrations were held and he was cremated.
Mandalay Hill (Burmese: á€™á‚á±á€±á€œá€¸á€±á€á€¬á€„á€¹Â MLCTS: manta. le: taung [mÃ É´dÉ™lÃ© tÃ ÊŠÉ´]) is a 240 metres (790Â ft) hill that is located to the northeast of the city centre of Mandalay in Burma. The city took its name from the hill. Mandalay Hill is known for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries, and has been a major pilgrimage site for BurmeseBuddhists for nearly two centuries. At the top of the hill is the Sutaungpyei (literally wish-fulfilling) Pagoda. A panoramic view of Mandalay from the top of Mandalay Hill alone makes it worthwhile to attempt a climb up its stairways. There are four covered stairways called saungdan leading up the hill from the south, southeast, west and north, and convenient seats of masonry work line these stairways all the way up. A one-way motor road today saves time and also makes it accessible for those who are unable to climb up the stairs, leading to an escalator and a lift to the pagoda at the summit.
U Pain Bridge
If you ever traveled to Mandalay, the second capital of Myanmar, one place you must visit is U Bain bridge (U Pain Bridge). It is possibly one of the longest wooden bridges in the world, connecting the two banks of Taungthaman Lake, in Amarapura (City of Eternity), which used to be the capital of Konbaung Dynasty. The bridge was built by U Bain (U Pain), who was the lord of the villages on the other side of Taungthaman Lake. Historical accounts said the main reason U Bain built the bridge was that he wanted quick access for his villagers to the Capital Amarapura so that he could stage a coup! Nobody knows if this is true, but he was later prosecuted with the same charges and was sentenced to death. Although he died, his name lives on as the builder of the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar, and the name of the bridge officially becomes U Bain Bridge (U Pain Bridge). The bridge still serves as the most important communication link for the people of his villages.
The city Mandalay was named after the Mandalay Hill, which is situated at the northeast corner of the present city. The hill has for long been a holy mountain and it is believed that Lord Buddha prophesied that a great city, metropolis of Buddhism, would be founded at its foot. It was King Mindon who fulfilled the prophecy.
Mandalay was built by King Mindon, making it the capital of an independent kingdom for less than 30 years, had founded the town only 29 years earlier in 1857. Contrary to other Burmese towns, especially Yangon, Mandalay has not grown from a smaller settlement to town proportions. In 1857 Mandalay was set up in an empty area, because, according to an ancient prophecy, in that exact place a town would come into existence on occasion of the 2,400th jubilee of Buddhism.
King Mindon decided to fulfill the prophecy and during his reign in the Kingdom of Amarapura he issued a royal order on 13 January, A.D 1857 to establish a new kingdom. The Ceremony of Ascending the Throne was celebrated in July, 1858.