Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Shwedagon Pagoda: Yangon’s Golden Center of Faith (Yangon, ASEAN’s Jewel Series 7)

Shwedagon Pagoda 
Yangon’s Golden Center of Faith
Yangon, ASEAN’s Jewel Series 7 

The Shwedagon Pagoda is Mayanmar’s center of faith.


Like the Eiffel Tower dominating
the beautiful Parisian cityscape-

…it is the most visible structure and serves
as a towering backdrop to Yangon’s skyline.


But the similarities end there.


Also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda or 
the Shwedagon Zedi Daw to the locals, it is 
the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Yangon,

…and one of the most popular Bhuddist pilgrimage
sites not only in Myanmar but in Asia as a whole.

Situated on Singuttara Hill, to
the west of Kandawgi Lake

….it contains the relics of the four
previous Buddhas of the present kalpa.

These relics include a piece of the robe of Kassapa,


… eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama

…the staff of Kakusandha,


…and the water filter of Koṇāgamana,

It is also called the Golden Pagoda, as  the temple gilded in gold 
and precious stone. The stupa's plinth is made of gold plated bricks
and just  above the base are terraces accessible only to monks.

Each level of the temple, from the bell-shaped part of
 the stupa,  the turban, the inverted alms bowl, inverted 
and upright lotus petals, the banana bud up to the 
umbrella crown, are gilded with genuine gold plates.

The topmost crown is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies,
and, the diamond bud, is tipped with a 76 carat, 15 grams diamond. 

Queen Shin Sawbu (Binnya Thau), a Burmese monarch
in the past donated generous amount of  gold and jewelries
as a start up to decorate the revered Shwedagon Pagoda. 




The practice continues to this day with devoted pilgrims from
all over the country, donating gold to maintain the pagoda.


The pagoda is a breathtaking sight up- close.




Seen from afar, this bejeweled temple is
a shimmering, glittering splendor at night. 


Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s most popular attraction,


...and should not be missed by any tourist visiting Yangon.

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