Shwedagon Pagoda is a gilded unique building, which is a Buddhist monument, located in the capital of Myanmar - Yangon. The country emblematic monument is located west of Kandawgyi Lake and is built on the towering peak above the city, Singuttara. This is the highest point in Yangon at 51 m altitude.
This beautiful building is the most sacred Buddhist building in Myanmar because it kept the relics of four Buddhas and eight hairs from the head of the Buddha himself. The legend of the Schwedagon Pagoda begins with two Burmese brothers who met the Buddha himself. The Buddha gave them eight of his hairs to be enshrined in Burma.
According to legend, Shwedagon Pagoda was built before 2500 BC and archaeological studies indicate that the stupa was actually built sometime between the 6th and 10th century BC.
The question of precisely when the sacred building was erected still has no definite answer, because according to the annals that remains from the Buddhist monks, it was built before the death of Buddha in 486 BC.
The gilded building itself is 98 m high with a precious metal used to decorate of almost nine tons. At the top of the stupa which is the base perimeter of 433 m are richly ornamented stones. The Shwedagon Pagoda is so big that it can be seen from up to 70 km away.
Shwedagon Pagoda has 4 entries, some parts are available only for men and monks. In the middle of each side of the building is built an even smaller stupa and around them there are about 64 small stupas. In every corner there is a carved sphinxe of mythical creatures who are half lion and half griffin. Outside stupas were built of four rooms in which are the figures of Buddha. Here believers served sacrificial gifts.
The last time that Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon was renovated was in 1871 during the reign of King Mindon. According to another legend, many centuries ago the building was built by King Okkalapa with only one hand.
Shwedagon also dominates in Burma’s rich history; British bureaucrats’ refusal to remove their shoes in its vicinity fed the discontent that eventually led to the independence of Burma.
Visitors should know that any kind of footwear (socks as will) are strictly prohibited on the Shwedagon Pagoda. Visitors have to remove all shoes and socks before entering the Pagoda. Leave your shoes at the foreigner counter or else carry it with you in a plastic bag. All visitors should be properly dressed; shorts, miniskirts, revealing and sexy clothes are strictly prohibited in the Shwedagon Pagoda.
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