In the early 1900s, highly revered Burmese clerks founded the Mahagandayon Monastery as a meditation shelter for the forest-dwelling monks. Over a century from then, the site is fully functional and highly regarded as the first day. Located on the banks of lake Taungthaman in Amarapura, the monastery is famous for being the largest monastic school in the country. Every afternoon, the school grounds crackle with the scarlet of the monks’ dresses as they gather to have lunch, while travelers from around the world watch them from a distance, bursting with exhilaration. With its age-old traditions and profound spiritual presence, Mahagandayon will knock you off your feet.
Donations to the school and the monks are a vital part of the monastery’s daily ritual. As the lunch line begins to form, visitors offer their food donations to the students. Tradition says that those who do so are rewarded with merit and good karma. The ritual may only take a few minutes, and there is not much beyond it except heartfelt scenes of monks carrying on their duties. Still, no trip to Myanmar is complete without coming this close to the country’s core religious heritage.
Tours visiting Mahagandayon
Best of Myanmar
Best of Myanmar Small Group