Explore the Shwe Dagon Pagoda

According to legend, the pagoda (also referred to as the good Dagon Pagoda and therefore the Golden Pagoda) was constructed around 2,600 years ago under the guidance of two brothers who had met the Lord Buddha and received eight of the Buddha’s hairs during a golden casket. Upon returning to Burma (present-day Myanmar), they found Singuttara Hill, where relics of other Buddhas were enshrined. There, consistent with the story, they opened the golden casket that held the Buddha’s hairs and supernatural events immediately started happening — from gems raining to trees bursting with flowers and fruit — and from there, the pagoda sprang. consistent with historians and archaeologists, however, the story is a smaller amount fanciful: the pagoda was built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries AD.

After initial completion, the pagoda slowly deteriorated until King Binnya U, within the 14th century, rebuilt it to a height of around 60 feet. A century later, Queen Binnya Thau raised its height to around 130 feet and terraced Capitol Hill it stands on (during an illness, she had her bed placed in order that she could check out the stupa’s gilded dome). within the next few centuries, variety of earthquakes damaged the pagoda but, after a very severe earthquake in 1768, King Hsinbyushin raised it to its current height: 325 feet.

When you arrive, the primary thing to note is that the pagoda’s most notable feature – its golden hue. In fact, the gold you see is that the real deal. Genuine gold plates cover the stupa and its base which are riveted to a brick structure underneath. A fun fact is that monarchs and citizens alike have donated gold to the pagoda since its construction.If you gaze slightly higher, above the bottom , there’s a a terraced area only accessible to monks. Above that you’re going to find architectural features within the shapes of these traditionally found in Burmese pagodas: a turban band, inverted alms bowl, lotus petals, and banana bud. Then another level above that’s the umbrella crown and vane, a feature that’s also common to pagodas, but none other is sort of as lavish. The crown is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and a couple of ,317 rubies, and on the very top of the pagoda rests a 76-carat diamond bud.

After admiring the temple itself, you cannot miss on exploring the pagoda’s grounds. The grounds feature statues of the primary four Buddhas (Kakusandha, Konāgamana, Kassapa, and Gautama). Inside, relics from each — the walking staff of Kakusandha, the filter of Konāgamana, a bit of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the top of Gautama — are said to be enshrined. These relics make it the foremost sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar — and one that’s not only visited routinely by tourists, but also by practicing Buddhists within the area, who enter this magnificent building with humble, selfless commitment to be their best selves and practice generosity, kindness, and compassion for all.