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The Shwedagon Pagoda


Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar


  • The Pagoda is officially named as Shwedagon Zedi Daw and additionally called as the Golden Pagoda and the Great Dagon Pagoda. It is a gold-plated stupa situated in Yangon, capital of Myanmar. The Pagoda is 99 metres tall and overlooks the skyline of Yangon.
  • Shwedagon Pagoda is considered the holiest pagoda in Myanmar, because it’s considered to have artifacts of the 4 earlier Buddhas of the existing kalpa. These types of artifacts include 8 parts of hair from the Gautama’s head, a part of the Kassapa’s shawl, the Koṇagamana’s water filter and the Kakusandha’s employees.



Shwedagon Pagoda Myanmar



Shwedagon Pagoda Myanmar


History

  • Archaeologists and historians claim that the Mon people built the Shwedagon pagoda between the 6th and 10th centuries C.E. Nevertheless, as per legend, the Pagoda was built over 2,600 years ago, rendering it the oldest Buddhist stupa all over the world. As per folklore, Bhallika and Taphussa— two brothers from Balkh, Afghanistan met the Lord Gautama Buddha in his lifespan and received 8 hairs of Buddha. Both brothers went to Myanmar and with the assistance of local king found Singuttara Hill, where artifacts of other Buddhas prior to Gautama Buddha had been preserved. As soon as the king opened up the golden box which contained the hairs, unbelievable things occurred:
  • Although not in season all trees of the Himalayas carried fruit and blossoms, gemstones rained downward till they were knee deep, lightning gleamed, Mount Meru vibrated, the ocean’s winds blew, the earth trembled, the dumb spoke clearly, the deaf heard sounds, the blind saw objects, rays radiated by the Hairs pierced up to the skies above and down to hell and there was a confusion among souls and men.
  • Until the 14th century the stupa was in disrepair. It was reconstructed to a height of 18 metres by King Binnya U. Queen Binnya Thau increased its height to 40 metres, a century later. For its maintenance she assigned hereditary and land slaves, surfaced the top terrace with slabs and terraced the hill. In 1472 Binnya Thau granted the throne to Dhammazedi, her son-in-law and retired. During her last sickness she placed her bed in such a way that she could see the gold-plated dome of the stupa. The Shwedagon inscription’s Mon face records a list of repairs from 1436 till the end of Dhammazedi's reign. Shwedagon Pagoda had acquired the status of the most renowned Buddhist pilgrimage site by the start of the 16th century.
  • During the subsequent centuries, a succession of earthquakes caused damage. A 1768 earthquake caused the worst damage which brought down the top part of the stupa, nevertheless King Hsinbyushin later on increased to its current height of 99 metres. In 1871 after the occupation of Lower Burma by the British, King Mindon Min donated a new crown umbrella. In October 1970, an earthquake misaligned the crown umbrella’s shaft which was repaired.
  • The annual Shwedagon Pagoda Carnival was not allowed by the governing State Law and Order Restoration Council from 1988 to 2011. This festival is the biggest pagoda festival in Myanmar.
  • The pagoda is in the Yangon City Heritage List.



Shwedagon Pagoda Myanmar