Considered to be the holiest Buddhist temple in Myanmar, Shwedagon Pagoda is an architectural masterpiece with a golden tower and body, thousands of magnificent diamonds and rubies on top.
The trip to Myanmar will not be complete without visiting the 2500-year-old temple of Shwedagon. Even for indigenous people, a pilgrimage to this thousand year old temple is always a dream in life.
Located at the top of Singuttara Hill, Yangon City, this is one of the holiest Buddhist temples in Myanmar. If international visitors will buy tickets to the temple at the south gate, the locals will enter without charge at the remaining East, West and North gates.
At first, the pagoda was only 8.2m tall, but up to now, the Shwedagon Pagoda is nearly 110m high, covered with nearly a hundred tons of gold with the top of the tower studded with 4531 diamonds. In it, the largest 72 carat diamond is mounted on the top of the stupa. Around the stupa is 2317 rubies and jade.
The thin gold plates were offered to the temple by the followers, thanks to the craftsmen inlaid around the tower with traditional techniques. It is known that the gold offering comes from the time of Queen Shin Sawbu. It can be said that Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the wonders of the religious world and is considered a treasure of architecture, sculpture and art.
Shwedagon Pagoda consists of hundreds of colorful temples, stupas and statues that reflect the architectural era spanning nearly 2500 years. The main tower peak in the temple is 99m high, surrounded by 1000 small towers, keeping the treasures of Buddhism. For a comprehensive view of the temple, tourists should take the time to experience this magnificent Buddhist symbol, and the life of Myanmar people.
Over 2500 years of history, Shwedagon Pagoda has been restored many times due to damage from natural disasters and war. It was once influenced by the earthquake in 1769, the beginning of the 20th century and the big fire in 1931, but above all, Shwedagon Pagoda still stood on the same time. This temple is also considered symbolic for national unity.
Currently, Shwedagon Pagoda is storing sacred treasures with Buddhists, including eight Shakyamuni Buddha hairs.
Like many sacred temples in Myanmar, before entering Shwedagon Pagoda, Buddhists and pilgrims had to abandon their outer footwear, go barefoot inside.
Visitors do not wear sleeveless T-shirts and shorts, costumes need to be polite, avoid making noise, not turning away from Buddha statues even if only taking photos and attitude of respect for monks. If you want to celebrate or donate, you must use both hands.
At Shwedagon Pagoda, only monks and men are allowed to enter the terrace at the main tower. Limiting women to religious sites is also a common rule in Myanmar.