The Sandamuni Pagoda is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and bears a resemblance to the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda because of the large number of slender whitewashed ancillary stupas on the grounds. The Sandamuni Pagoda, or Paya, is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and bears a resemblance to the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda because of the large number of slender whitewashed ancillary stupas on the grounds.
The Paya is also famous for the Iron Buddha Sandamani cast by King Bodawpaya (1782-1819) of the Konbaung dynasty in 1802, and which King Mindon and brought from Amarapura to his new pagoda and shrine in 1874.
The pagoda complex was erected on the location of King Mindon's provisional palace, the "Nan Myey Bon Tha." which he used until his permanent Royal Palace was completed in the center of the Royal City. It was built as a memorial to King Mindon's younger half-brother, statesman, reformer, stimulating personality and confidante, the Crown Prince Kanaung, who had helped him seize power from Pagan Min in 1853. Two of Mindon's sons, Princes Myingun, and Myin Kon Taing disappointed in being excluded from the succession, launched a palace revolution against their father on June 8, 1866, and assassinated Crown Prince Kanaung and three other princes: Malun, Saku and Pyinsi. The princes were buried on the grounds where they died. The royal residence was demolished the next year as the court was moved to the new Royal Palace. In 1874, King Mindon had the pagoda built near the graves of the Crown Prince and the other members of the royal family who lost their lives in the 1866 coup.