For a long time, Myanmar has been regarded as a Buddhist holy land with a significant number of golden Pagodas. This symbol has become the pride for the people of the Union of Myanmar. One of them, the most well-known pagoda in Myanmar, is Shwedagon (the golden Pagoda) which has existed for more than 2,600 years, making it the oldest historical in Burma and the world. Situated west of the Royal Lake on 114 –acre Singuttara Hill in Yangon, as a result, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site.
Structure of Shwedagon
From a humble beginning of 8.2 meters, the Shwedagon Pagoda nowadays stands close to 110 meters. The Pagoda is, noticeably, covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4513 diamonds, the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond. Read more: Travel to Myanmar
For detail, the main stupa is the temple’s most particular structure. It is visible at its hilltop location from much of Yangon city. The stupa is surrounded by 64 small stupas. A seven spired hti, an ornament shaped as an umbrella with golden bells attached to it is placed at the top of the pagoda. The hti is decorated with thousands of diamonds and other precious stones. If you stand in the right spot of the pagoda platform, you will see the reflection of the rays of the sun from the huge diamond on top of the gold plated hti in various colors like red, purple and orange.
It is obvious that it is one of the wonders of the religious world. The Pagoda is a repository of the best in Myanmar heritage- architecture, sculpture and arts. It consists of hundreds colorful temples, stupas, and statues that reflects the architectural era spanning almost a 2,500 years.
The mysterious things in the Pagoda
It is said that only because of the possession of the relics of four past Buddhas enshrined within: the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Konagamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight strands of hair from Gautama. Uppatasanti Pagoda is an exact replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Naypyidaw, the capital of Burma, is it the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese. In relation to the eight strands of hair from Gautama, indigenous peoples told that: “two Burmese brothers met the Buddha not long after he had reached enlightenment. The Buddha gave the brothers eight of his hairs and told them to enshrine the hair relics on Singuttara Hill, where relics of the three previous Buddhas had already been enshrined. The brothers returned to Burma and gave the Buddha’s hair relics to the King. The spot where the relics of previous Buddhas were enshrined was found. At that spot a relic chamber was built and a Pagoda was built over it.”
Tunnels of Shwedagon
There are four covered walkways that lead up to the pagoda’s platform. Both the southern and northern entrances have the choice of an elevator or stairs; the western entrance has escalators instead of stairs and is the only entrance without vendors. The eastern stairway has the most authentic ambience, as it passes monasteries and vendors selling monastic necessities. According to the culture, it is strike that you must remove your shoes and socks before you climb the stairs.
The Indochina Voyages team.