Atumashi Monastery – Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) - Atlas Obscura

Atumashi Monastery

This Buddhist monastery once housed an image of Buddha containing a 19-carat diamond.  


With an enormous single prayer hall inside, Atumashi Monastery is also known as the “Incomparable Monastery,” due to its sheer size. Atumashi Monastery is considered one of the largest religious buildings in Mandalay.

The gigantic gold and white monastery was constructed by King Mindon in 1857. The monastery was once home to an image of Buddha that contained a massive diamond. The diamond was brought by the Governor of Rakhine from western Burma and presented to King Bodawpaya. However, in 1885, the diamond was lost during the British takeover of Mandalay and was never seen again.

After the event of the lost diamond, the British seized control of the monastery in 1890 and turned it into a military barrack. However, this didn’t last long as the monastery was destroyed by a fire. Only the stairways and pillars underneath survived the disaster.

A century after the mysterious fire, renovations to the monastery begun around 1990 and ended in 1996, salvaging a fragment of the city’s rich history.

Know Before You Go

Located east of the Shwenandaw Monastery, Atumashi Monastery is reachable from a narrow road leading to both monasteries. 

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September 17, 2020

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