MAHA BANDULA GARDEN

The Maha Bandula Garden and Monument located in the heart of Yangon pays tribute to Myanmar’s military history

To read about my visit to Maha Bandula, visit the blog here: Sule Pagoda & Maha Bandula Garden

For all the high-resolution photos from Maha Bandula Garden: Click Here

Entrance Fee: Free for locals and foreigners

Visiting Hours: The park opens daily from 6:00am until around 10:00pm

Location: The Mahabandoola Garden is located in the center of downtown Yangon; make it a day trip and visit the Sule Pagoda

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar

The Maha Bandula Park or Maha Bandula Garden (also spelled Mahabandula or Mahabandoola) is a public park located in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. The park is surrounded by some of the important buildings in the area such as the Sule Pagoda, the Yangon City Hall and the High Court. The park is named after General Maha Bandula who fought against the British in the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826).

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar

The park dates to 1867 and was founded as Fytche Square in honor of the then Chief Commissioner of British Burma, Albert Fytche. The site was previously a vacant, swampy site originally known as Tank Square, which was cleared and laid out as a public recreation ground. A statue of Queen Victoria was placed in the center of the park in 1896, gifted by a wealthy Armenian firm in Rangoon. After 1935, the park was renamed Bandula Square, reflecting rising nationalist sentiment.

After 1948 the Independence Monument, an obelisk in commemoration of Burmese independence from the British in 1948, was installed at the center of the park replacing the statue of Queen Victoria. The park was remodeled in 2012.

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar

The Maha Bandula obelisk in Mahabandoola Park marks Myanmar’s independence from the British in 1948. Situated in the middle of the Maha Bandula Garden, the obelisk pays tribute to its namesake General who fought the British in the Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826). The gardens around the massive monument are filled with beautiful trees and a well-manicured lawn, where many young couples lay around covered by umbrellas in an attempt to hide from the oppressive sun.

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar

General Maha Bandula (November 6, 1782-April 1, 1825) was commander-in-chief of the Royal Burmese Armed Forces from 1821 until his death in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Bandula was a key figure in the Konbaung dynasty’s policy of expansionism in Manipur and Assam that ultimately resulted in the war and the beginning of the downfall of the dynasty. Nonetheless, the general, who died in action, is celebrated as a national hero by the Burmese for his resistance to the British. Today, some of the most prominent places in the country are named after him.

Maha Bandula looms large in Burmese history for his courage to take on the British. Due in large measure to Bandula’s leadership, the First Anglo-Burmese War was the only one of the three Anglo-Burmese wars in which the Burmese were able to put up a fight.

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar
Yangon City Hall, seen from the Mahabandoola Obelisk
Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar
One of Yangon’s oldest churches, Emmanuel Baptist Church

The Burmese remember Bandula’s last words in this way:

“We may lose the battle. This is our destiny. We fight our best and we pay our lives. However, I cannot suffer indignity and disgrace for losing the battle for the lack of courage and fighting prowess. Let them realize that the Burmese lost the battle because of the loss of their Supreme Commander. This will prove to be an everlasting example of the Burmese fighting spirit and enhance the honor and glory of our nation and the people amongst the neighboring states.”

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar

Team Bandula is one of five student teams into which all students in every Burmese primary and secondary school are organized. The other four teams are named after the greatest kings of Burmese history: Team Anawrahta, Team Kyansittha, Team Bayinnaung and Team Alaungpaya. Some of the most prominent places in Myanmar are named after the fallen general.

Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar
The former Supreme Court of Myanmar
Maha Bandula Garden Yangon Myanmar
Yangon City Hall, an example of British colonial architecture fused with Burmese ornamentation and pyatthat (tiered roofs)
Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar
Mahabandoola Garden, seen from a bridge connecting the Sule Pagoda

To read about my visit to Maha Bandula, visit the blog here: Sule Pagoda & Maha Bandula Garden

For all the high-resolution photos from Maha Bandula Garden: Click Here

Resources:

Maha Bandula Wiki

Myanmar Travel Essentials

Phillip Harbor

Author, blogger, photographer, all-around world traveler

02 Comments

  1. hanstille

    The park is surrounded by some of the important buildings in the area such as the Sule Pagoda, the Yangon City Hall and the High Court. Where did you get this information?

    February 17, 2016 Reply
    • Sidepiece Diplomat

      From my own eyes! I was there 🙂

      February 19, 2016 Reply

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Israeli Abroad

IsraeliAbroad (formerly SidepieceDiplomat) was started as a passion project by amateur photographer Phillip Harbor as he travels from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Yangon, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and throughout the world. Named for the adventure, the photoblog seeks to give followers a unique insight into life from a nation that was until recently closed off from the rest of the world for more than half a century. This blog is half photo-half information-half experience-driven. Yes that’s more than a whole… and yes that makes about as much sense as anything else you can find on this half of the globe! Feel free to follow us on social media and right here on the blog as we explore the incredible wonders of Myanmar. Updates will come as regularly as possible and don’t forget to share with your friends!

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IsraeliAbroad was started as a passion project by photographer Phillip Harbor as he travels from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Yangon, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and throughout the world. Named for the adventure, the photoblog seeks to give followers a unique insight into life from a nation that was until recently closed off from the rest of the world for more than half a century. This blog is half photo-half information-half experience-driven. Yes that’s more than a whole… and yes that makes about as much sense as anything else you can find on this half of the globe! Feel free to follow us on social media and right here on the blog as we explore the incredible wonders of Myanmar. Updates will come as regularly as possible and don’t forget to share with your friends!