Few places are as awe-inspiring as Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda (open daily 4am-10pml entrance fee) which is also known as the Golden Pagoda for its giant gold stupa, and is the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar for Burmese Budhhists. Historians believe it was built by the Mon people some time between the 6th and 10th centuries, but legend has it that the pagoda was constructed over 2,000 years ago. Regardless, in earthquake-prone Myanmar, Shwedagon Pagoda has been rebuilt numerous times. It wasn't until the 15th century that the stupa was gilded.
The Pagoda is believed to hold the relics not just of the Buddha but also of four of his predecessors, enshrined in the golden core. No one has been able to confirm this, as to do so would require destroying the core of the structure, which obviously cannot be allowed! Shwedagon Pagoda is also a powerful symbol of national identity: in recent years, the Pagoda has become a rallying point for the pro-democracy movement, and during the 2007 protests, even monks were prohibited from entering. Four entrances will bring you to the main terrace. Avoid midday for a truly majestic experience: at sunrise, the pagoda is relatively empty, at sundown, its 27 metric tons of gold leaf glint in the fading sun.
Architecture of the Shwedagon Pagoda
Made out of golden covered bricks, the inside of the Shwedagon pagoda access is allowed to monks only.
Above this terrace base, you can find the bell-shaped. The above layers are made of symbols of buddhism such as the Turban, followed by inverted alms bowl, a symbol of the renunciation in pursuit of the holy life (monks gathers donation such as food on the alms bowl), the lotus petals, and at the very top of it, the umbrella crown, symbol of royalty and spirituality awareness.
The crown is decorated by 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies. Before the very top of the stupa, the diamond bud tipped with a diamond of 76k (15gr.) is the flag-shaped vane.
Map of the Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon pagoda is at the center of a huge terrace, surrounded by a lot of buddhism symbols such temples, bronze disk-shaped bells, images of buddhas, relics of ancient buddhas, holy trees, etc.
On the below map, you will have the location of each significant point of interests of the Shwedagon pagoda surroundings, it will help you find your way around and not miss anything.
Where it’s located
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