Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Golden Rock in Mon State and Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay are three important holy places in Myanmar. Maha means huge and muni means image, Mahamuni means huge image. There is huge golden sitting Buddha image in the temple. After invasion to Arkan- Rakhaing state in the year 1784, King Bodawpaya of Kong Baung Dynastry, he brought 4 meters high Buddha Image to Mandalay and built temple for it. The original image was casted of alloy. The image is getting bigger and bigger as thousands of Buddhist devotees stick very thin gold leaves on image every day. Sticking gold leaves on Buddha image in Myanmar is one of the ways of making donation at holy place.
Buddha image is face to east and visitors use to pray at eastern pavilion. Most of the time it is crowded with prayers. Just men are allowed to enter interior part of the shrine, and women are prohibited. Not to disturb others, cannot take picture when you are in the interior shrine. Southern part of the shrine there is a place where you can buy Myanmar real thin gold leaves to apply on Buddha image. Only men with gold leaves are allowed to go up on the narrow terrace of the plinth of Buddha image. Men go up from south to apply gold leaves and down to north. At the back of the Buddha image, just few inches up to plinth, there is a big hole, which shows the thickness of several layers of gold leaves donated by Buddhist devotees.
Mahamuni temple is situated southern part of Mandalay. There are four entrances with several souvenirs shops. It is also the best place to buy devotional souvenirs of the country. The temple opens at 04:00am in the morning and closed at 09:00pm in the evening. The venerable monk comes to the temple around 04:00 am and washes the face of the Buddha image which is famous face washing ceremony of Mahamuni temple every day. Buddhist devotees come to pray for the time of face washing ceremony in early morning.
Local visitors can enter from four entrances. Foreign visitors have to enter from North entrance and charge 5000kyats per person.