There' s a popular saying in Burma that just one look at this gravity-defying golden rock is enough to get everyone to turn to Buddhism. Kyaik " in Mon means "pagoda" and the phrase "Yo" means "to wear on the skull of a hermit", while the phrase "Ithi" means a "hermit".
The name " Kyaiktiyo Pagode " can therefore be interpreted into English as "The Necklace on the Hippod's Head". The Golden Rock on the Kayaiktiyo Mountain, on the Tenasserim coastline, is 1,100 metres high. It is 210 km from the Yangon town.
Kinpun is the closest inhabited area of the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, from where you have to drive up to the sanctuary. The last point where you can drive up is Yatetaung and you have to walk up the Golden Rock to get to the sacred place.
He wished that the Buddha's coat should stay anchored in a block of rocks shaped like a hermit's skull. He and his father set up the round cliff at the bottom of the sea. With the help of Thagyamin (who according to Buddhist cosmology is the monarch who reigns the Tawadeintha sky) they could then find the ideal place to place the boulders and build the pit where the rope should be anchored.
It' said that Lord Buddha's wisps of coat prevent the pebble from falling off the hills. It is said that the ship that moved the Golden Rocks was turned into a boulder about 300 metres from the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. According to historic notes, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda was constructed by King Teikthadhamma Siharaja in 581 BC, but another report says that a wandering friar took three locks of Lord Buddha's coat to King Tissa in the eleventh centuary and instructed him to place the scalp in a mock-up erected on a cliff in the form of the monk's-face.
It is a folk belief that three times a year priests who make their pilgrimages from the Kinpun Basecamp to the sanctuary are glorified and prosperous. Golden Rock, which shines on the top of the hill, is about 7.6 metres high and has a perimeter of about 15 metres.
It itself is 7.3 metres high. Golden Boulder is standing on a cliffy plateau, which seems to be shaped in a natural way to prop up the Golden Rock. But the cliffy plateau and the golden rock are separated from each other, with a very small surface of contacts.
This gives the feeling that the boulders are very unsafe and can come off at the least contact. There is a sloping plain on the rocks on which the boulders lie, the edges of which lead to a steep precipice into the underlying canyon. The Golden Rocks stand at the very rim of this sloping one.
It has a gilded form of lotuses surrounding the cliff. There is a staircase leading to the building of the chateau, where you can admire a magnificent panorama from the porches of the cloakroom. There are also a number of smaller chests and couples where ghosts or nat' s are worshiped in the sanctuary.
As part of a ceremony during the sanctuary pilgrims fasten small gold sheets to the top of the crag. At a few meters from the Gold Cliff you can also see the Gong circuit, where there are four sculptures of cherubs and Nat ghosts near the building.
Near the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda there is a market place with many stores that sell sacred utensils, and in the nearby Potemkin there are also many restaurants, souvenir stores and inns. Pilgrims continue their journey from November to March, when they can enjoy a quiet and inspirational environment in the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda and around the area.
You can see the Gold Rocks shine in all their splendour from morning to evening, while the songs of the Adorers resound in the hills and create a singular, spiritually atmosphere during the festivities around the place. In the season of the festivities, joss stick and joss stick are lit, candlelight is lit and meditation is sung, and thousand of walkers walk all the way up to take part in the sacred ritual and stick gold leafs on the cliffs.
Disabled or elderly persons can also attend the pilgrimage by making use of the service of bearers, who temporarily wear them to the sacred sanctuary. On the full Monday of Tabaung in March, the cliff deck of the pit is lit with 90,000 candle lights, which is a real spectacle.
In general, some of the fruit, candle, and frankincense that come to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda are sacrificed to Buddha. Although there are some accommodation on Mount Kyaiktiyo, it is recommended to hire a motel in its Kinpun basecamp. The Kinpun is a vibrant place with many proper pensions and restuarants.
In the ideal case the visitors should try to arrive at Kinpun in the afternoons or evenings and spend the next overnight there and begin the hike to the cloakroom. Golden Rock Hotel, Pann Myo Thu, Mountain Top Hotel and Sea Sar Guesthouse are some of the good establishments in Kinpun.
You can either rent an crowded car from the basecamp, which will take you up to the summit along a lovely alpine path. Or, you can even walk 11 km from the basecamp on a lovely and shaded path that provides a spectacular view.
It is well cobbled and it will take about 4-5 hrs to get to the top of the path. From Yangon you can take the trains to Kyaiktiyo and Kinpun. From Yangon there are frequent busses to Kinpun, which take about 5h.
Travelling by rail from Yangon is more convenient, as it also offers the visitor an insight into the landscape of Burma. Kinpun can be reached by rail from Yangon within 4h. The Mahamuni Pagoda of Mandalay and the Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon are other touristic sites of similar importance and interest in Burma, and are the other two main sites.