Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar, after Yangon. Located on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, 716 km north of Yangon, the city has a population of 1,225,553.
Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon, replacing Amarapura as the new royal capital of the Konbaung dynasty. It was Burma's final royal capital before the kingdom's annexation by the British Empire in 1885. Under British rule, Mandalay remained commercially and culturally important despite the rise of Yangon, the new capital of British Burma. The city suffered extensive destruction during the Japanese conquest of Burma in the Second World War. In 1948, Mandalay became part of the newly independent Union of Burma.