Yangon Attractions

Photo: Shwedagon Pagoda,

Yangon Attractions

Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon pagoda is the most important attraction not just of Yangon, but of all of Myanmar. It is situated on Singuttara Hill, some three kilometers from the city center.

The pagoda dates back to the time of the Buddha, some 2,500 years ago. As temple legends tells, two Burmese merchants went to visit the Buddha and received eight of his hairs as relics. Though the merchants allegedly gave four hairs to regents of the different kingdoms on their way back to Myanmar, all eight hairs eventually showed up in Dagon, as the place was named then. In order to keep those eight hairs, the original Shwedagon pagoda was built.

The original pagoda, just nine meters high, is long gone, for unlike Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Shwedagon pagoda has been "in use" ever since. Because it has continously been, and still is, a place of worship, it constantly has been extended, changed, renovated, rebuilt after fires and earthquakes, decorated according to the styles of the respective times, rebuilt again ... and so on.

The main Stupa, more than 100 meters high, was built its present shape only in 1774. The Stupa, and many other buildings of the temple complex, are decorated with myriads of gems and gold. Thousands of pilgrims visit the site every day. Around the temple vendors sell ritual articles.

Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda

This pagoda with the difficult name features a pavilion with a modern, 70-meter lying Buddha statue.

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