The Shwedagon Pagoda ( official name: Shwedagon Zedi Daw ) also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a 98-meter (321.5-foot) gilded stupa or pagoda located in Yangon ( Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar, the former capital and the cultural and economic center of the country. It is also the capital of the Yangon region ), Myanmar.
The Shwedagon Pagoda or Paya is the most important religious site in Myanmar. This pagoda is located on the western part of Lake Kandawgyi, on Singuttara Hill, and dominates the view of Yangon City. This Buddhist stupa is the holiest for the Burmese nation because it holds relics of the previous Buddha, namely the Kakusandha staff, Konagamana water filter, a piece of Kassapa robe, and eight hairs of Siddharta Gautama, the historical Buddha.
The pagoda has repeatedly become the object of the claims of foreign invaders. So, in 1608, the troops of the Portuguese adventurer Filipe de Brito-e-Nicote plundered it and stole the three-hundred-ton Dhammazedi bell encrusted with jewels. The bell sank at a depth of ten meters in the muddy bottom of the Yangon River and has since been considered lost.
In 1825, the British were already trying to take out another bell from Burma, located in the Shwedagon – Singumin, weighing 23 tons. However, the boat on which they tried to take him to Calcutta could not bear the weight of the bell, and he also sank. As a result, the British promised to leave Singumin to the Burmese if they could lift the bell from the bottom. Local residents, having thrust bamboo logs under the bell, made it float up on its own
The country’s most revered shrine is called the Shwedagon Pagoda. Tourists from all over the world come here to feel the atmosphere of these places
Access : Coordinates:16.798354, 96.149705 / This pagoda is located on the western part of Lake Kandawgyi, on Singuttara Hill / You can get to the Shwedagon Pagoda by city buses to the Shwedagon stop or take a taxi.
- There are four entrances (mouk) to the beach with flights of stairs leading up to the platform (yin byin) on Singuttara hill. Two giant chinthe (mythical lions) guard the southern entrance; the image on the altar at the top of the stairs is that of the second Buddha, Konagamana. The base of the stupa is made of bricks covered with gold plates. On the base there are various terraces (pyissayan) that only monks and men can access. At the top is the crown, covered with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies.
- The most revered pagoda in Burma, according to legend, contains the relics of four Buddhas: Kakusandha’s staff, Konagamana’s water filter, part of Kassapa’s tunic and eight Gautama’s hair.
- The main pagoda is surrounded by hundreds of smaller buildings with the same decoration, these are small temples and burial stupas of Buddhists, for whom it is a great honor to rest here.
- The pagoda is an earthen hill on a high platform, lined with stone and covered with a solid layer of gold. It does not have internal premises, but around there are another 70 smaller temples and 8 sacred pillars oriented to the cardinal points. Offerings in the form of flowers or leaves of gold foil should be left next to one of them.
- The Shwedagon was built gradually for at least 1500 years. It acquired its present magnificent appearance in the 15th century, when Queen Shinsobu gave the monks a gift equal to her weight – 40 kg of gold.4351 diamonds were used to finish the spire, another 1100 diamonds and 1383 emeralds, sapphires and rubies adorn the weather vane at the very top. All this splendor is crowned with a 76-carat diamond of pure water
- The main bells in some churches are immeasurably larger. They have their own names, the largest, Maha Tissada, weighs 42 tons, almost half the size of Singumin, only 23 tons.But the largest bell in the world, the 300-ton Dhammazedi, stolen by a Portuguese adventurer a century earlier, remained at the bottom of the river. The Burmese do not lose hope of finding him.
- The temples that complete the enclosure have different architectures depending on who made the offerings to build it, their country and the time in history in which they were made.
Note : When visiting Shwedagon, it is recommended to dress modestly, miniskirts and short shorts are highly undesirable. The sacred terrace around the pagoda is supposed to be walked barefoot only.
Opening hours: daily from 6:30 to 22:00. Ticket price: 10000 MMK.
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Guides, official and unofficial are available / Good place to glance history!! / Tours in Yangon
Go next : Yangon , the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Myanmar / Bago , the capital city of Bago Division in the Irrawaddy region