Early Morning Rituals at Mahamuni Pagoda

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day tour

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Budget

Tour Period: Morning

3 hours    English    Mandalay

tour highlights

  • Visit one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of Myanmar
  • Witness a powerful ritual and the very religious side of Mandalay
  • Learn about the Mahamuni Buddha image, one of the most sacred in all of Budhhism
  • Be united with locals in respect and reverence for the tradition

tour details

Witness one of the most important daily rituals in Myanmar at one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in the city. Wake up before dawn to travel to the Mahamuni Pagoda, which houses a Buddha image said to date back to Lord Buddha’s lifetime.

Why choose this tour?

  • Witnessing the sacred moment of admirable Buddhist ritual at Mahamuni Pagoda
  • Observing the detailed procedures of face-washing ceremony in the early morning
  • Inspiring atmosphere to share with the local devotees
  • Authentic Myanmar breakfast at a local teashop

tour description

Every morning, the traditional ritual of daily face-washing ceremony takes place at the Mahamuni Pagoda, the most important pilgrimage site for local people.
Ancient tradition refers to only five likenesses having been made of the Buddha during his lifetime: two were in India, two in paradise, and the fifth is the Mahamuni Buddha image in Mandalay. According to the legend, the Buddha visited the Dhanyawadi city of ancient Arakan in 554 BC, during which King Sanda Thuriya requested that an image be cast of him. After casting, the Buddha breathed upon the image, and thereafter it became the exact likeness of the Mahamuni Buddha.
The dawn ritual commences daily around 04:00 hours. It is an elaborate task performed by a senior monk, assisted by several lay helpers dressed in white and wearing formal headdresses. As soon as the drums strike, the senior monk residing in the adjoining monastery enters the sanctum and starts the formal face-washing with a succession of fresh towels offered by devotees. He then cleans the Mahamuni's teeth with a large brush, followed by one more sequence of cleaning the face with fresh towels. After this, sandalwood paste is applied to the image and it is again cleaned with towels and finally sprinkled with scented water. After the ceremony is complete, more than one hour later, the used towels are returned to the devotees who keep them with reverence in their home shrines.
Afterwards, stop at Min Thiha, a popular tea shop where locals enjoy their breakfast. You can taste some of its famous tea, snacks, or Mandalay 'Monte' noodles.

customise the tour

  • Combine with full day Mandalay City tour
  • Proceed to Sagaing, Mingun or Ava and Amarapura
  • Unlimited photo opportunity during the tour


  • Transportation in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Transfer from/to hotel
  • Breakfast in local tea shop
  • English speaking local tour guide
  • Filtered drinking water and wet towels during the tour


  • Please note there will be supplement during the water festival period from 13-17 April. Price to be advised on request.
Tour code: EXMHEMRB

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