Sunday, September 29, 2019

Myanmar: Overwhelmed 2,500-year-old temple, stuck 4,531 diamonds, inlaid with 90 tons of gold

Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar)
The highlight of the architecture of Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar) is the nearly 110-meter-high stupa, covered with about 90 tons of pure gold, on top of which are encrusted with 4,531 diamonds.

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Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar)
Shwedagon Pagoda is considered one of the architectural masterpieces of mankind. (Source: Dan Tri)
Shwedagon Pagoda is considered one of the masterpieces of humanity, the treasure, and the pride of Myanmar. To come here once in a lifetime is the dream of all Buddhists and visitors.

Architectural masterpieces inlaid with 90 tons of pure gold

Located on the top of the sacred hill of Singuttara, Yangon (Myanmar), the temple has the highest tower of nearly 110m, surrounded by thousands of different large and small stupas.

Standing anywhere in Yangon, you can admire this iconic tower. Myanmar authorities see the temple as a national architectural treasure, so all constructions in the city of Yangon are not allowed to be built beyond the height of the tower, with an altitude including the base of 160m above the ground.

No one knows exactly when Shwedagon Pagoda was built, archaeologists only estimate the temple has a history of over 2,500 years. Legend has it that until now, the temple still retains 4 sacred treasures of Buddhism, including 8 hairs of Shakyamuni Buddha, a piece of the Buddha's shirt, a stick of Buddha and the water filter of the Buddha.

The highlight of the architecture of Shwedagon Pagoda is that all the towers are gilded with gold. In particular, the main stupa is nearly 110m high, covered with about 90 tons of pure gold, on the top encrusted 4,531 diamonds. In it, the largest 72-carat diamond mounted on the top of the stupa.

In particular, around the stupa are 2,317 rubies and sapphires. In addition, the top of the tower hangs all 1,065 gold bells and 421 silver bells. Inside the temple, the interior and Buddha statue are also gorgeously gilded, with intricate architectural details.

Overwhelmed by the unique and magnificent architecture

Over 2,500 years of history, Shwedagon Pagoda has been restored many times due to damage from natural disasters and wars. It was affected by the earthquake of 1769, the beginning of the 20th century and the great fire in 1931, but above all, Shwedagon Pagoda stood still over time. It is also considered a symbolic temple for national solidarity.
Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar)
Pilgrims coming to the temple can perform the ritual of bathing Buddha statue and pray for peace. (Source: Dan Tri)
Due to being inlaid with pure gold and adorned with precious stones, visitors coming here at any time of the day are impressed, overwhelmed by the majestic appearance, unique architecture of Shwedagon Golden Pagoda.

However, to feel the magnificent beauty at this 2,500-year-old temple, visitors should visit in the evening, when all the candlelight is lit up, reflecting with the splendid yellow of the building. Above all, covering the whole space is the peace and tranquility of a Buddha land.

If international visitors will buy a ticket to the temple at the southern gate, then the local people can enter the temple at no charge at the East, West and North gate. The ticket to visit Shwedagon Pagoda is about 8 USD / person for international visitors.

From the southern gate, visitors will take the elevator to the top floor to enter the temple. Before going inside, all bags must be transferred to the security checker. Pilgrims should note the outfit before entering. Double straps shirts, short skirts, and even torn jeans are borrowed towels to wrap on the outside.

Like many other Buddhist temples in Myanmar, going to Shwedagon Pagoda, visitors do not burn incense, votive, but will buy pure white garlands to offer to Buddha, perform Buddha bathe ceremony to pray for peace.

This is a ritual that has been around for a long time and is now maintained in almost all Buddhist communities to pay homage to the birth of Buddha. After the prayer ritual, guests will find a seat on the large yard to chant. In addition to the above ritual, pilgrims also perform many other customs such as beating bells, contributing merit, lighting candles for prayers or buying thin yellow leaves, directly inlaid on Buddha statues.

At the temple, there are 8 statues located in 8 different directions. Each statue has the shape of a different animal corresponding to 7 days of the week (except Wednesday is the middle of the week divided into morning and afternoon). You can ask the locals which statue corresponds to your birthday and then go there to burn incense and spray holy water to pray for good luck and peace.

Another interesting point is that Shwedagon Pagoda was the background in the hit movie "Friend Zone" which has caused a fever recently.

It can be said that a trip to Myanmar would not be complete without visiting the 2,500-year-old Shwedagon temple. Even for indigenous people, a pilgrimage to this thousand-year-old temple is always a dream in life.

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