Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung)

Attraction Mandalay Myanmar (Burma) Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
08:00 AM - 08:00 PM
09:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
0.01 USD

Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung) is good for

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  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Shwenandaw Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located near Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (formerly Burma). The monastery is known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths.

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Why Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung) is special ?

Not gorgeous and sumptuous, Shwe Nandaw Kyaung or Golden Palace Monastery attracts visitors because of its ancient mystical beauty and historical value.

Constructed entirely of teak wood in the mid-nineteenth century by King Mindon, Shwe Nandaw Kyaung Monastery is one of the few relics which are typical of wooden architecture of ancient Myanmar. It was initially a part of the palace at Amarapura. Only a few years before the end of the monarchy in Burma, King Mindon ordered to move it to Mandalay and named as Shwe Nandaw Kyaung. After King Mindon died in 1878, his son, King Thibaw, decided to dismantle and rebuild it as a monastery in order to remember the merit of the father. So it is a unique blend between palace and monastery as well as the remaining most important relic of the overall Royal Palace after allied bombing raid of Japan. It is believed that the soul of King Mindon still haunts this building.

This 120 year-old monastery is really a wood masterpiece of the art with four floors narrowing toward the top. From afar, it looks quite old and ancient. However, if looking closely, you will see its roof, walls and balustrades were elaborately decorated with the exquisite sculptures in wood or marble, illustrating dancers, flowers, vines and legendary animals like serpentine dragons – an imaginary mascot commonly found in Asian temple. Inside the monastery has many gilt and glass mosaic wooden cabinets which have stored Buddhist scriptures written on palm leaf and folding parchments. Moreover, there are some images of King Mindon, Thibaw and Queen on the wooden panels. The main hall is most impressive with giant teak pillars, the imposing ceiling, the copy of the Lion Throne, worshiping the Buddha image and so on. The entire Shwe Nandaw Kyaung Monastery likes avividmuseum taking visitors back to the years of the history of Mandalay.

Today, it is great a stop place for visitors to admire the beauty in ancient Myanmar architecture and explore long-lasting history in Mandalay.


What to explore at Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung)?

The large structure built in typical Burmese architectural style has a four tiered roof that is made up of several sections, each section smaller than the one below it. The roof lines are decorated with very detailed intricate wood carvings. The roofs bargeboards contain carved depictions of mythical creatures, animals, dancers and flowers.

An intricately carved teak verandah at the first level surrounds the monastery. Some of the carved wooden panels ravaged by time and weather have been replaced with new panels, especially on the outside.

Large teak pillars inside the building support the roof. There is still some gold plating inside the monastery; Once the structure was completely gilded and decorated with glass mosaics.

Some of the best preserved panels are inside the building, sheltered from weather and sunlight. Among them is a number of carved panels depicting scenes from the Jataka tales, the tales about the previous lives of the Buddha.

Inside the main room in the center of the building is the main Buddha image, with Nat spirits worshipping it. Only men can go inside to worship the Buddha image.


How to get to Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung)?

The Shwenandaw Monastery is located a few hundred meters from the North East section of the Royal Palace grounds, next to the Atumashi pagoda. From downtown Mandalay you can get there by rickshaw which should cost around US$2 or by private taxi at around US$ 4.


Selling points

  • Fantastic wood carvings
  • Gold and more gold
  • Beautiful wooden monastery
  • A teak palace come monastery
  • Favorite site in Mandalay
Exploring Mandalay with my friends in 3 days

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3.0 days
83.00 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
16 places




Mandalay Myanmar (Burma)

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Tips for you

  • Morning time is good to visit for great atmosphere and spaces.
  • The inside is dark and quite hard to take a good pics.
  • There is a real sense of calmness and history about this place. You can also buy the 10% Mandalay heritage zone ticket at the entrance here.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • It is better for checking out the monastery from the outside its intricate carvitngs.
    Things to do
  • It is to better to take a tour guide to share the history.


TripAdvisor View more

The Teak details, particularly on the inside of the temple, are beautiful. But, we also spent time exploring the Monastery after looking at the temple. There we found a few chairs, and the environment so relaxing and calm, I actually dozed off for a few minutes. I would agree with another reviewer who states that given how busy and noisy the city is in general, coming here was a nice respite from the chaos.

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