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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Myanmar Attractions and Sight Seeing

Shwedagon Pagoda

The main attraction in Yangon is the 110m high Shwedagon Pagoda, looking down onto the city from a hill. The surface is plaited with over 30 tons of gold that were brought since hundreds of years by millions of pilgrims.
The Pagoda was reputed to have been built by King Okkalapa some 2500 years ago to enshrine eight hairs from the fourth Buddha, Gautama, along with relics from the three previous Buddhas. The sacred hairs were given to the King by two merchant brothers, Tapussa and Phallika and were enshrined in a jewel-filled chamber which was covered by a gold pagoda, and subsequently encased in layers of silver, bronze, copper, lead, marble, clay and iron brick.
Although the Pagoda has been rebuilt and enlarged seven times by various kings, its design has largely remained the same. The design of the Pagoda was greatly influenced by the Meander's monarchy, though it is Queen Shinsawbu (1453-1472) who gave it its present style and who started the tradition of gilding the Pagoda by donating her own body weight in gold. Various kings have also left their mark through donating pagodas, legendary bells and the umbrellas at the top of the Pagoda. But it is the Myanmar people's reverence for and their continual donations to the Shwedagon Pagoda which has made it what it is today. Entrance fee is about USD 5 - 7.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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