Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

10 Fun facts about Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda

City & Architecture Travel - World
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Myanmar is usually off the radar of several Pinoy travellers but the magnificent and holy site of the country’s pride, the Shwedagon Pagoda, is a place of pilgrimage for many Buddhists. You might not hear much about this southeast Asian country but these interesting facts about the Shwedagon might make you consider visiting there:

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

1. The Shwedagon Pagoda is called “The crown of Burma”. The main gold-plated dome is topped by a stupa containing over 7,000 diamonds equivlent to 2000 carats, rubies, topaz and sapphires.

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar
View of the gold-plated main stupa (left side).

2. Myanmar families and followers of the Buddha make a pilgrimage to the Shwedagon the same way that Muslims want to visit the Kaaba at Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

3. Nobody knows the exact date when the pagoda was built. Legend has it that the Shwedagon Pagoda is 2,500 years old but archaeologists estimate it was first built by the Mon sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries.

4. The Shwedagon pagoda has 1,485 bells.

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

5. The pagoda sits on a total land area of 5 hectares on a hill 58m above sea level.

6. There are four covered walkways and entrances that lead up to the pagoda’s platform. Both the southern and northern entrances have the choice of an elevator or stairs; the western entrance has escalators instead of stairs and is the only entrance without vendors. The eastern stairway has the most authentic ambience, as it passes monasteries and vendors selling offerings and merchadise. The southern entrance, from Schwedagon Paya Road, is the closest to the main entrance and is guarded by two 18-foot-high chinthe (mythical lion-dragons).

7. Always walk around stupas clockwise so visitors take a left from whichever entrance to the platform they’ve chosen.

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

8. Legend has it that the pagoda is home to Buddha relics not just from the Buddha, but of three Buddhas that preceded him.

9. You will witness moments of prayer, meditation and the ‘bathing of the Buddha’ every day of the week. Labels with the days of the week surround the stupa and dictate the placement of offerings. The Monday corner is reserved for those who were born on a Monday, Tuesday corner for Tuesday, and so on. Washing the Buddha at the corner of your birthday is considered lucky and good for karma.

Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

10. You need to remove your shoes and socks when entering the pagoda so remember which entrance you left your footwear.Entrance fee: 8000 kiats or P275.00.Buddhist temples are places of worship so if you to plan to visit there, make sure that you are dressed properly: no shorts for men, women should wear dresses that cover the knees. Though it is permitted to take photos, you must respect the pilgrims, monks and lays who go there to pray.

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