Located on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River is Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city. It is considered the country's cultural hub because it maintained the cultural legacy of the ancient Burmese kingdoms. Mandalay was formerly known as Ratanapunja, and it was where the Royal Palace of the Konbaung Dynasty was built. When the Konbaung Dynasty was in power, the city was grand and majestic, a true testament to Burma's Golden Age. Unfortunately, the palace—and the city as a whole—were damaged during the Second World War. The palace and the city have been reconstructed since then. The present city was established in 1857 and had derived its name from Mandalay Hill, one of the key tourist spots in Mandalay.
Aside from the aforementioned palace and hill, there are other attractions to see in Mandalay. This ancient royal city is not lacking of pagodas, temples and monasteries, most of which are remarkable examples of architecture that would surely awe visitors. One example is the Mahamuni Pagoda, the holiest pilgrimage site in the city. Meanwhile, an example of a traditional Burmese monastic structure is the Atumashi Kyaung. Another notable attraction is the Kuthodaw Pagoda, known for its more than 700 inscribed slabs.