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“One of the most important buddhist monasteries in Myanmar”

Mahagandayon Monastery
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$276.00*
and up
Private Tour:Explore the Wonders of Mandalay Including Lunch on Boat
Reviewed January 12, 2013

It is one of the largest monasteries at least near Mandaly. There are about 2000 monks of all ages who live here and the time to visit this is around 10 am. There is a procession of monks who walk to the monastery hall for their main meal of the day. The day we visited there were literally thousands of visitors on a pilgrimage and it was difficult to see what is going on. Nevertheless it is worth making a bee line to see this historic as well as present day monastery for a different perspective on a monk's lifestyle and living conditions.

1  Thank Eaa1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 - 202 of 330 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2012

This is just far too touristy. Whilst I am sure that this is the way the monks live, allowing hundreds of tourists in to take photos of it seems wrong and as though it is set up. The monastery buildings are not very interesting, in fact the only interesting thing was seeing the food being prepared for the next day by the donating family. We are told that there is a waiting list of about a year to be the family who donates and prepares the food for the monks so it is obviously a very important event but not the religious experience I was expecting.

1  Thank sanuk_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

The second important monastery in Myanmar, many locals are coming from far away to pray and worship Buda.
Many photographic aprotunities

Thank Gil K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Maha Ganayon Kyaung is exactly the same place as Mahagandayon Monastery. Kyaung is the Burmese word for Monastery or other religious complex – of any religion except Islamic which has a different word, not just Buddhist. Maha Ganayon is just an alternate spelling of Mahagandayon. As a double check, googling Maha Ganayon Kyaung brings up exactly the same pictures as Mahagandayon Monastery does. The two Trip Advisor entries should be merged into a single entry. As can be same from my attached photo, the Monastery itself has the preferred spelling of Mahagandhayon Monastic Institution.
See my entry under Mahagandayon Monastery for further details of my visit there.

2  Thank Arthurrvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

A slightly bizarre although interesting visit. The monastery itself is quite large and has over a thousand monks I believe, of all different ages including some very young novices. The monastery buildings are not particularly special, made mainly of wood, and although very pleasant , especially with the shady wooded grounds, it would not be worth a detour just to see the buildings here. The main purpose to come here is to watch the monks have their main daily meal at about 1100 hours.
One has to arrive well before 1100 if one wants to be able to see the ceremonies as, certainly in season, the place is crowded with tourists. When we were there it felt like there were nearly as many tourists (and local visitors) as monks. Most people line both sides of the small road leading up the side of the eating halls and in front of the hall entrance as well. The monks start lining up well before the gong is struck and the abbot also takes his seat in the hall first, he doesn't walk in procession. Then once the gong is struck the monks slowly, and silently, file up the road, their food is put into their bowls and then they go into the halls to sit down and eat.
If you have the time it is worth later on wandering round some of the other buildings in the complex as although not spectacular they are pleasant and peaceful. Also visit the kitchens on the other side of the dining halls where one can see the massive pots and pans used to cook the food and also see the large store of vegetables.
I am not quite sure how the monks benefit from the presence of all the tourists but I suppose it helps to show the tourists some aspects of Buddhist monastic life and gives locals more of an opportunity to make offerings to the monks.

2  Thank Arthurrvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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