The Royal Mandalay Palace is located between 12th street and 26th street, in the heart of Mandalay city. Mandalay Palace was the first palace to be built in Mandalay, by King Mindon when he shifted his capital from Amarapura in 1861, to fulfill an old prophecy. The site was chosen with the auspicious omen and astronomical calculations.
Structure of the Palace
The magnificent palace was built of teak wood on raised brick plinth gilded with gold and vermilion. The queens' chambers in order of priority is 1 Southern, 2 Northern and 3 Lesser queens in the West. All ancillary buildings for the court, the fortified high walls with ramparts, the moat, water systems, roads, gardens with shady tamarind trees, recreational playgrounds, swimming pools, mint, security ports with infantry, cavalry, archers, artillery, sheds for royal elephants, stables, audience halls, throne halls, religious edifices and monastery and devotional halls were superbly planned and executed to minute details. The implementation and completion of construction took five years (from 1857 to 61). The artistic workmanship and handicrafts depicting the glory of the golden age of the days gone by is still amazing, awe inspiring and the beholder will be spell bound with wonder.
The entity of the palace cannot be separated from the Mandalay Hill, from where the prophecy and name is dewed. Located right in the center of the palace grounds, which is meticulously a true square, enclosed within fortified high walls with ramparts and the beautiful deep moat all the layout in perfect squares. So much so the city surrounding the place too had been laid-out in blocks of squares enclosed by sheets.
A muddy canal feeds the supply of water to the moat. It is surprisingly strange that the red muddy water turns crystal clear. This moat water is potable and the source of home consumption and is free from lime content. It also serves a double purpose as a good protection from enemy assault of those days.
The reflection of the Mandalay on the eastern moat is a beautiful scene to behold from the southeastern corner. The panoramic view of the Palace and the surrounding areas as far as the Sagaing Bridge, the Ayeyarwady River and the hill ranges seen from the Mandalay Hill during sunset will be an enchanting experience.
The beautiful palace with many other buildings were destroyed by fire due to the ravages of been reconstructed in brick masonry from photographic records, plans and drawings.