The Golden Shwedagon Pagoda is one of 3 most sacred places of Buddhist in Myanmar: Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Golden Rock in Bago, and Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay. Myanmar is one of the most mysterious countries in the world that travelers and adventurers wish to learn and travel to. With an area of 676 577 km, 3 times larger than Vietnam, Myanmar is the 2nd largest country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is getting up after a long sleep for more than 20 years of sanctions by the US and the EU (1988).
Myanmar people would be probably proud of great Burmese people U Thant held the UN Secretary-General for 10 years from 1961 to 1971 (he was the first non-westerner hold this position). Myanmar is also a large country with rich mineral resources, especially gemstones, natural diamonds with large reserves. In addition, the country also has a large amount of oil and gas resources and mineral reserves and Teak Wood.
During the visit to Myanmar, travelers will be surprised by in anywhere you can easily catch the gilded temples and pagodas. With 330,000 pagodas and temple over the country, Myanmar is considered as one of the countries with the most numbers of pagodas and temples in the world.
Shwedagon Pagoda (Golden Pagoda) is one of the must-see attractions in Yangon for any travelers. It was built with the height up to 105m located in the center of Yangon City. It is considered as the most sacred monument of Myanmar built in the 6th century on the hill Singuttara (According to legend, the pagoda built before the Buddha passed away for 2500 years ago. Thanks to its great architecture and mysterious legend, it will definitely leave you interesting experience on Yangon tours.
It is said that in the time India had been under the crisis with hunger and crops, two Burmese brothers Khoa Ca Dat Pho Da take boat carrying rice to relief. When they returned from India, they received 8 hairs of the Buddha Shakyamuni, and then with the help of their dynasty, they built Shwedagon pagoda and brought Buddha’s hair to the pagoda for worshiping). The pagoda has 4 gates in 4 directions: the East, West, South, North, each gate is guarded by one pair of giant Lion God (chinthe). This sacred pagoda is said to be holding four treasures of Buddhism: “8 Buddha’s hair, the cloth of Buddha, the rod of Buddha and Water filter of Buddha”. The pagoda covered with over 60 tons of gold and attached to the huge number of 2317 gems, rubies and 5448 diamonds, especially on top of the tower is also fitted with a 76-carat diamond.
The pagoda had been restored and repaired many times due to fluctuations of nature (the earthquake in 1768 dropped a part of pagoda roof) and war (the invasion and destruction of Portugal colonial in 1608, British colonial in 1824 …)
This pagoda is also linked to many important historical events of Myanmar. The recent events included the parade in 1941 by General Aung San from Shwedagon Pagoda to ask the British government to return the independence for Myanmar. And 42 years later, at Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26th, 1988, his daughter Aung San Suu Kyi also held a lecture to more than 500 thousand Burmese people calling for democracy in Myanmar and countered ruling monarchical government. Most recently in 2007, the pagoda is the starting point of the parade including 20,000 Burmese monks calling for the change of Myanmar’s military junta. The pagoda also marked a special event that is a historic visit of US President Obama – the first US president and his visit to Myanmar on November 19th, 2012. The event marked a new step in the transition to democracy of Myanmar.
Tourists should visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in the afternoon to see the pagoda with golden light in the sunset. This is also the best time for you to watch the colorful lights of the diamond mounted on top of the tower from a special place in the yard. At the end of the visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the visitors usually visit the sacred Bodhi tree of the Pagoda, pilgrims, and travelers also want to take a leaf from the Bodhi tree with the hope that will bring luck and prosperity to the family.