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Towering over Mandalay, the hill that the city is named after is a 230-metre-high bump in the otherwise flat landscapes of the Mandalay plain. It is said that Buddha visited Myanmar and stood on this hilltop and prophesied that a great city would be founded below in 2,400 years – experts worked out that year was 1857, the year that King Mindon did, in fact, found the city. Today it has an extensive temple complex on its summit and is a major pilgrimage site for Myanese Buddhists. Whilst it is meritorious to climb one of the four stairways to the top, it is also possible to travel up by road. The views from the top are far-reaching – head up at sunrise or sunset for an exceptionally atmospheric experience.
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