View of Mahabandoola Gardens

©David Eimer/Lonely Planet

Mahabandoola Garden


A green breathing space in the heart of downtown Yangon, this park provides lovely views of surrounding heritage buildings, including City Hall, the High Court and the old Rowe & Co department store, now a bank.

The park's most notable feature is the Independence Monument, a 165ft white obelisk surrounded by two concentric circles of chinthe (half-lion/half-dragon deities). There's also a children's playground.

When laid out by the British in 1868, the park was called Fytche Sq after Sir Albert Fytche, chief commissioner at the time. Later it was renamed Victoria Park to commemorate the queen whose statue used to stand where the Independence Monument is today.

After independence, the park was renamed to honour General Thado Mahabandoola, a Burmese hero who conquered Assam and died in action in the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1824.

For a year or two following the 1988–90 pro-democracy uprisings, the park was occupied by soldiers; many of the more violent events of the time took place nearby.

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Nearby Yangon attractions

1. Independence Monument

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This 165ft white obelisk inside Mahabandoola Garden is surrounded by two concentric circles of chinthe (half-lion/half-dragon deities). Designed by Sithu…

2. Yangon Stock Exchange

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Looking like a giant vault, this monumental neoclassical structure was originally built in 1937 to house the Reserve Bank of India. In December 2015 it…

3. High Court

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Lording it over the east side of Mahabandoola Garden, the 1911 Queen Anne–style former High Court with its bell clock tower and rooftop lion statues was…

4. Old Tourist Burma Building


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5. Immanuel Baptist Church

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One of Yangon's oldest Baptist churches, this one was originally built in 1830 though the present structure dates from 1885.

6. Sule Paya

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Not many cities have a primary traffic circle occupied by a 2200-year-old golden temple. This 46m zedi (stupa), said to be older than Shwedagon Paya, is…

7. Ayeyarwady Bank

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This 1910 heritage building was once Rowe & Co department store, dubbed the 'Harrods of the East'. After independence it was used to house the Ministry of…

8. Sofaer's Building

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In desperate need of love and attention, this crumbling Italianate building, constructed by the Jewish-Baghdadi trader Isaac A Sofaer, still has original…