Yangon PagodaThe Yangon Pagoda
Swedagon Pagoda | Story of the gold-plated, diamond-studded Yangon Pagoda
Shwedagon' s pagoda is Yangon's most icon. A 99-metre high, solid, gilded pagoda with a diamond-set tower on a small hillside in the centre of Yangon overlooks the area and is seen from much of the town. At nightfall, there is a mystic ambience in which the pagoda is illuminated by floodlights.
Burma's most important place of Buddhism is the very impressing pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda. This is the central tupa that preserves holy relicts of the Gautama Buddha and the three preceding Buddhas. The pagoda, according to tradition, is more than 2,500 years old, making it the oldest pagoda in Burma.
Historic indications indicate that the pagoda was used by the Mon around the sixth cen. The pagoda has been extended and refurbished several time since then, and many smaller Stupa and other buildings have been added. It is said that two merchants from Okkalapa (now Yangon), who were living about 2,500 years ago, came across the Buddha in India.
Buddha gave them eight of his hair and ordered them to anchor them in the same place on a mound in Okkalapa, where the remains of the last three incarnations of Buddha were grave. On their return to Okkalapa, the brethren handed over the Buddha relic to their sovereign, who set out in search of the place.
Nat, who was million years old, was a witness to the last three Buddha's visit and recalled the place on Singuttara Mountain where the remains were kept. This is where the Shwedagon Pagoda was made. They are all watched over by huge Chinthes, mythologic lion with gold inlays.
At the top of the entrance wall of the building are beautifully depicting the Jataka story, the story of the Buddha's former life. At the centre of the large building is a 275 metre long plateau with the central stupa and many smaller stupa that surround it.
This central stupa preserves the remains of the four preceding Buddhas, as well as the holy relic of the youngest Buddha. As the Shwedagon Pagoda is the holiest place for Buddhists in Burma, many followers come to the Shwedagon every single ore. You go around the Stupa and offer sacrifices to the Buddha.
On every edge of the eight-sided pagoda there is a Buddha picture cabinet (one for each weekday, Wednesday is divided into two parts). Myanmar prays to the sanctuary, which belongs to its date of origin, by lighting a candle, bringing flower and watering the picture. Situated in the middle of the city, the central tupa is the most imposing building of the complex.
You can see it from a large part of the town of Yangon on the hill. There are 64 little Stupa around the start of the canteen. This 99-metre high central stupa is fully gilded and preserves the holy Buddha-relicas. At the top of the pagoda is a seven-beam hummingbird, an ornamental parasol with gilded crescents.
Standing in the right place on the pagoda deck, you will see the reflections of the sun's beams of the giant stone on the gilded sti in various colours such as pink, lilac and oranges. It is said that two Myanmar brethren encountered the Buddha not long after he had achieved epiphany.
Buddha gave the brethren eight pairs of his head and ordered them to immortalize the relic of the three former Buddhas on Singuttara Hill. Returning to Burma, the brethren gave the King the Buddha's reliquaries. This is where the remains of former Buddhas were found.
A reliquary was constructed here and a pagoda was erected above it. Naungdawgyi Pagoda, where only men are permitted to go, is the place where, according to tradition, the Buddha's reliquaries were placed before they were anchored in the central stupa. 2. There is a 8-metre-long lying Buddha picture in a praying room.
A further gazebo contains a 9-metre-high Buddha picture in a gold attire. The pagoda, which is similar to the Mahabodhi sanctuary in India, is adorned with very colourful Buddhistic representations. Therakanese prayer gazebo has very delicate woodcarvings, while another gazebo contains mural paintings with relics from the Jataka stories, the earlier life of Buddha.
There are a large number of elaborately adorned gazebos with multi-storey rooftops named Pyatthat and several Tazaungs, a Myanmar Buddhist style temporary shelter. Whereas the oldest primordial shwedagon is what is inside the major tupa, the oldest dating construction is the Dhammazedi acronym.
On the pagoda deck of 1485, this panel contains information about the story of the Golden Pagoda. It was probably the biggest ever moulded and weighed almost 300 tonnes and was placed in the Shwedagon Pagoda. However, the float with the bells sank in the Yangon Rivier.
SWEDAGON Pagoda is situated in the centre of Yangon on Shwedagon Pagoda Road on Singuttara Hill, Dagon and west of Kandawgyi Lake. From the city centre a cab to the pagoda should be about US$ 3 - 4.