Sunset experience at the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda | Yangon, Myanmar | Shwedagon Pagoda, known as well as ” the crown of Myanmar ” might be as well, the most iconic landmark of Myanmar, one of the most famous pagodas in the world and a very important monument for Buddhist religion. According to some, the pagoda is 2,600 years old, making Shwedagon the oldest pagoda in the world. When in Yangon, you will feel its omnipresence, and you will be literally draw to it as a magnet. It can be seen from most places of Yangon day and night as the golden roof illuminates the city. The best time to visit, is right before sunset, to be able to appreciate the site, atmosphere and colors, pre and post sunset. See and follow my full Instagram Photo Gallery on Myanmar…
Located atop the Singuttara Hill, is this 99 metres (325 ft) tall pagoda, which is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas. There are replicas of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, like Uppatasanti Pagoda—located in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. Completed in 2009, it is similar in many aspects to Shwedagon Pagoda, but its height is 30 cm (12 in) less than that of Shwedagon.
The pagoda is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. Being that Myanmar practices the Theravada Buddhism, adds to its prestige. The pilgrimage to Shwedagon Pagoda is to Buddhist, is much the same way Kaaba at Mecca means to Muslims. The main gold-plated dome is topped by a stupa containing over 7,000 diamonds, rubies, topaz and sapphires, the whole giddy concoction offset by a massive emerald positioned to reflect the last rays of the setting sun.
Before visiting Myanmar, make sure to know the day you were born and the time. It is important for Burmese Buddhists to know on which day of the week they were born, as this determines their planetary post. There are eight planetary posts, as Wednesday is split in two (a.m. and p.m.). They are marked by animals that represent the day. Each planetary post has a Buddha image and devotees offer flowers and prayer flags and pour water on the image with a prayer and a wish. At the base of the post behind the image is a guardian angel, and underneath the image is the animal representing that particular day. The base of the stupa is octagonal and also surrounded by eight small shrines (one for each planetary post). It is customary to circumnavigate Buddhist stupas in a clockwise direction.
One of the many experiences that stood up during this journey across Myanmar, all created by the local expect team of Belmond, was the Oil Lamp Lightning Ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda. We lit the whole circumference of the pagoda with oil candles. Was such a moving and unforgettable moment and sight. A symbol of moving out of darkness and towards the brilliant future. A must do experience.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is open every day of the year from 04:00 AM to 22:00 PM. Last admission is at 21:45. Entrance fee to Shwedagon is $8 per person. A guide will cost an additional $5. When visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, it is advised to dress modestly. You have to wear trousers or at least knee length shorts or skirt; t-shirts with elbow length sleeves are also expected. You must enter the Shwedagon barefoot.
Was time to get my shoes back and head back to Belmond Governor’s Residence, to get ready for an evening hosted by me for our group, at the grande dame of Yangon, Le Planteur Restaurant. I can say after my visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, that I have checked yet another box of my travel bucket list. A landmark I have admired for years, and once of the main purposes of my visit to Yangon. And most definitely had not disappointed at all. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
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