The Sacred Shwedagon Pagoda

“….it is called Dogonne, and it is of a wonderful bignesse, and all gilded from the foot to the toppe…it is the fairest place, as I suppose, that is in all the world; it standeth very high, and there are foure ways to it, which all along are set with trees of fruits, such wise that a man may goe in the shade above two miles in length….” this is considered as the most important section of the report which was made by a Ralph Fitch. He was an English man and made the report in the year 1586 after his visit to the pagoda.


The Swedagon temple is located in the capital of Yangaon city. The pagoda is positioned on the sacred Singuttara Hill. If you really wan t to know the reason behind the construction of the pagoda would are definitely required to know more about the Buddhist culture and its history. The hill is infamous as a holy hill to all Buddhist and also among the people of Myanmar.


A King named Okkalapa lived in the region nearly 2,500 years ago. He belonged to the Suvannabhumi dynasty and was successful in esyablishing his rule above the Talaings. During this period Gautam Buddha was residing in the northern region in India. At that time he was quite young and even he was not known as Buddha.

It is always believed that the new or the “enlightened” Buddha would arrive only once in each 5,000 years. During the reign of Okkalapa the span of 5000 years was already over and it was considered that the new Buddha would arrive again. Singuttara Hill is imperative because it was the consecrated quiescent spot of the vestiges of the 3 Buddhas. Their remnants were preserved inside Singuttara Hill, thus tagging it a divine place. To maintain it blessed, it was supposed that offerings are made by the novel Buddha, which would grow to be residue which is required be preserved each 5,000 years in the hill.

But Okkalapa was worried, as a new-fangled Buddha had not approach to be recognized yet, and if it got too long he dreaded that the hill could drop its sanctity. He went to the hill to plead and to deliberate; uninformed of the fact that Gautam Buddha was approaching the enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree that was positioned in the northern India at the similar time.

According to locale legend, he became visible to Okkalapa and informed him to be tolerant, that his desire for the hill would granted in a little while.

As Guatama was at the attainment of his 49 days of rumination, he was stopped over by 2 brothers named Tapussa and Bhallika. They were from Myanmar belonged to Okkalapa reign. The 2 merchant brothers presented him some honey cake as a honey cake as they acknowledged him as “The Enlightened One.”

To convey his appreciation to the brothers, he hauled out 8 of his hairs from his head, and gave them to Tapussa and his brother Bhallika. They obtained the hairs and returned home. They were robbed twice during their returning journey in which 4 of the consecrated hairs were taken ways from them by the robbers. When they reached Myanmar they had only 4 hairs.

The people of Myanmar along with King Okkalapa celebrated their return; a huge party was thrown in their honor. Thus it was decided that a shrine had to construct as to house the new remnants. Thus the shrine was built on Singuttara Hill. At the social gathering in their admiration, the brothers offered a chest enclosing the Buddha’s hairs to the king Okkalapa, who opened it. At that moment great shake in the lead of the earth took place, there was a huge earthquake. It is believed that all of the trees then ruptured into bloom and beautiful jewels chop down from the heavens.

A temple was shaped on Singuttara Hill to domicile these 8 amazing hairs, and the region was believed blessed. A massive pagoda was then fashioned over the hill to home the holy place, and it is measured one of the most sanctified spaces in entire Myanmar. The pagoda itself is an astounding architectural accomplishment. The peak ascends more than 300 ft towards the sky air above the top of the hill and was visible even from far distances. The Shwedagon, is also defined as, “golden hills” is marvelously finished with gold and various jewels present all over.

The information as to precisely at what time and how the structure of the pagoda began is rather unclear, but writings text that it was renowned and noticeable belongs to the eleventh century. Over the years, varieties of kings as well as queens participated in modernizing it, and make the structure bigger; making it grander as well as taller than it was before.

How to Reach

The Yangon International airport is closed airport to reach Shwedagon Pagoda. The distance of the airport from the city’s center is 45 km. The Yangon International airport handles both domestic as well as international traffics. The airport has direct flights to various cities of the world such as Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Bangkok as well as Singapore. From the airport you can reach the center of the city with the help of meter or prepaid taxis. You can use taxis to travel in the interior of the city. You can experience the short journeys in the 3-wheeled bicycle taxi. The bicycles as well as Motorbikes are banned in Yangon.

When to visit

It rains heavily in Yangon during the rainy season so it is always better to visit the place in the months of late October to late February. The atmosphere during this period is cool and pleasant. The rest of the year is quite hot.

Other near by attractions are as follows:

  • Maha Wizaya Pagoda
  • Chauk Htat Gyi Reclining Buddha Imag
  • Koe Htat Gyi Pagoda
  • The Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda
  • Botahtaung Pagoda
  • Kaba Aye Pagoda
  • Sule Pagoda
  • Mailamu Paya

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