Myanmar, Pagodas, South East Asia, Temples, Tourism, Travel

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda is a magnificent holy attraction in Yangon, Myanmar.

The story of Shwedagon Pagoda goes far back. It is believed that in the 6th century B.C, Buddha was enlightened at the foot of a Bodhi tree in India. On the 49th day after Buddha was enlightened, two trader brothers from what is now known as Yangon, Tapussa and Bhallika, met Buddha and offered him honey cakes.

Buddha, knowing that in the future Buddhism would flourish in Myanmar, gave eight strands of his sacred hair to Tapussa and Bhallika. The strands of hair were sent to Yangon by ship, and King Okkalapa took possession of the sacred hair relics following a guard of honour to welcome them.

Two of the hair relics were distributed to the two brothers, whilst the others were placed at Botataung Pagoda, Theinkothara Hill and the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda.

Standing at 99 metres tall, Shwedagon Pagoda’s gold stupa is the largest in Myanmar. It consists of a base, terraces, a bell shape, turban, inverted almsbowl, inverted and upright lotus petals, as banana bud and then an umbrella crown which weighs 500 kilograms by itself. The spectacular crown is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. The diamond bud at the top holds a 76 carat diamond.

In addition to the breathtaking gold stupa, there is also a vast amount of pagodas, Buddha images, bells and showrooms. If you are one for detail, you could easily spend four or five hours walking around Shwedagon Pagoda, taking in the history, beauty and atmosphere.

We visited Shwedagon Pagoda in the afternoon so that we could be there when the lights were turned on in the evenings, and view the picturesque gold stupa in its fully glory. I would highly recommend visiting in both the daytime and the evening, so you can witness the mixture of locals and tourists paying respect to this magnificent structure.

Opening Hours Daily from 4am to 10pm
Entry Fee 8,000kyat
Location Sanguttara Hill, Dangon Township, Yangon