Shwedagon Pagoda Description:
The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist shrines. Over the centuries, successive rulers have wrapped the shrine’s stupa in layer upon layer of hammered gold.
A dominating part of Yangon’s skyline, Shwedagon can easily be spotted gleaming in the sun like a holy beacon from almost anywhere in Yangon. Buddhist tradition holds that a sacred pagoda has stood on the Singuttara Hill for more than 2,600 years, but the structure that can be seen today was probably erected by Buddhists from the Mon ethnic group of peoples in the 6th century. Buddhist tradition holds that the gold covered stupa contains several relics from multiple incarnations of Buddha including strands of hair from Gautama Buddha.
Today, Shwedagon Pagoda is the thriving center of religious activity in Yangon. Visitors reach the shrine complex via four stair cases aligned with the four cardinal directions from the center of the stupa. The interior of the complex is dotted with smaller shrines, many of which are dedicated to the animist spirits called Nats that pervade Burmese Buddhism. Throughout the day, a flurry of pilgrims and monks can be seen performing a host of varying rituals. Burmese Buddhism is heavily influenced by Hindu astrology, and the day of the week a Buddhist is born is said to have a great impact on a person’s life. There are small shrines dedicated to each day of the week inside Shwedagon, as well as others pertaining to the various constellations and planets that govern the lives of the devout. Throughout the day, it’s common to see the faithful communing with monks for astrological predications, and making offerings at the numerous shrines for good fortune.
Best Time to Visit Shwedagon Pagoda:
Myanmar’s best weather is between November and May during the dry season. Between June and October rain fall keeps the country cool, and countryside is simply stunning.
How to get to Shwedagon Pagoda:
Shwedagon is one of the most sacred Buddhist structures in Myanmar, and its beacon-like stupa is a must-see while visiting Yangon.
Shwedagon Pagoda Highlights:
The Shwedagon Pagoda is centrally located in Yangon, Myanmar. Guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar can reach the ancient religious site via our private vehicle service while sightseeing in the city.
Shwedagon Pagoda has a strict dress code requiring shoulders, arms, and knees to be covered when entering the temple grounds. Visitors must also remove their shoes before climbing the steps to the top of the hill.