Atumashi Monastery – Mandalay Attractions
Located in the city of Mandalay in Myanmar, The Atumashi Monastery was previously known as Maha Atulawaiyan Kyaungdawgyi. This Buddhist monastery was built by King Mindon in 1857 after Mandalay was chosen as the capital city. The construction of the monastery cost as much as 500,000 rupees in those days.
The original structure was made using teak with the exterior covered in stucco. What distinguished this structure from others was the fact that it comprised five graduated rectangular terraces and not the usual pyatthats or the spired and tiered roofs typical of Burmese architecture.
However, the original structure was damaged in 1890 owing to a fire in the city that engulfed the monastery and also damaged the 30 feet tall statue of Lord Buddha along with sets of Tipitaka. It is also said that a 19.2 carat diamond which adorned the image was not to be found anywhere after the fire. There is also another version concerning the disappearance of the diamond. Some believe that the diamond vanished after the British annexed the city and other parts of Upper Burma in 1885.
For several years the ruins remained exposed to the vagaries of nature. The Atumashi Monastery that one sees today was constructed following an initiative taken by Burma’s Archaeological Department and with the assistance of prison labor. Though the new structure doesn’t come close to the original monastery, it is certainly worth a visit. Moreover, it is located in close proximity to other sites of interest such as the Shwenandaw and the Kuthadaw pagoda.