Things to know about Shwedagon – Famous pagoda in Myanmar

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Shwedagon, Myanmar @ BestPrice

One of the destinations that not a lot of people know of in Myanmar.

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Shwedagon at day time @ Wikipedia

I traveled to Myanmar on a gentle fall day. I do not know whether the weather is right of me, but the feeling of silence overwhelmed my soul.

Myanmar has three seasons: autumn, dry and rainy seasons. The dry season from February to May, hot weather. The rainy season with the rainy season, from May to October. Autumn from October to February next year, which is the beautiful weather for the Myanmar travel. Perhaps because of the rain, the weather is cool, so it is suitable for the tourists on the road leading to the temple here.

On the morning flight, we arrived in Myanmar at noon.  After having lunch and rested a little, we eagerly prepared for the first destination on the journey of the temple.

Later, when the trip was over, I realized that I chose the right departure time because watching the sunset at the most sacred temple in Myanmar on the first day of the journey is an unforgettable experience in life.

At 4:30 pm, we stop by the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred temple in Myanmar. The guide advised us to leave the shoes in the car because we only left the car for about a dozen meters, we would be in the land of the pagoda, which is regulated throughout Myanmar that everyone must go barefoot. This is no exception for even the heads of nations when visiting any temple in this country.

The guide took us to the elevator to the third floor, which was connected to the road leading to the gate. On the path about 300 meters, he talks about the history of the Shwedagon. The temple holds four sacred treasures for the followers of the Buddha, including the stick of the Buddha, the water filter of the Na Jataka, a piece of the Buddha’s Lettuce, and the eight strands of Shakyamuni Buddha. The tower of the temple is 99 meters high. The temple is located on Singuttara hill, from which it is possible to observe Yangon.

According to legend and records of the monks, the temple dates back to the Buddha’s death, meaning that it was 2,500 years ago. Archaeologists, however, say it was first built between the 6th and 10th centuries.

Through the south gate leading to the pagoda, we were all amazed by the light shimmering inside the towers, as if the god lits thousands of gold lamps covered the high and low, big and small towers. Wandering through the small streets around the temple, I feel like I was walking in the labyrinth of gold, sometimes the honey-like sunset spreads out everywhere.

The roads sometimes lead to a very large courtyard, but at the same time, it leads to the small knot in the middle of the towers that are close to each other. Here, the people are kneeling praying, the other guests from Western Europe are taking pictures.In the other corner, there are Buddhist monks sitting or conversing with tourists … All blended together in the golden sunset of the sunset.

The temple is 50,000 m² large, with 1,000 small towers, every day welcoming tens thousands of visitors. But you can see the Shwedagon Gold Tower on either side of the temple.

Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and sanctuary of the people of Myanmar. The body and the top of the tower are gilded with thousands of diamonds, rubies, jewels and golden rattles. Most notably, the top of the tower glows with a 76 karat diamond. The temple is estimated to be in a total of 90 tons in gold volume.

It is estimated that the value of the stones mounted on the top of the tallest tower is half the value of the artificial island of Dubai, home of the Burj Khalifa, the highest tower in the world in 2010.

The secrets of knowing your spirit animal

Shwedagon at night time @ Chua Noi Tieng

When I was tired, I stopped on the steps of a small tower and was talked to by an indigenous young man. I asked him about the temple, the people of Myanmar and much of the faith here. He said the people here get up very early to go to the temple, every day they go to the temple 2-3 times, just to pray, hang around or sit in the quiet space.

He asked me about my date of birth and explained that, according to Myanmar belief, every day of the week there will be a spirit animal who will give birth to that person. We happened to be born Wednesday, with white elephants. But my brother was born in the morning, the elephant would have ivory, showing strength outside, and I was born in the afternoon, corresponding to the elephant without ivory and internal concentration inside.

Then, he led me to the ceremony where the spirit animals that match with the birthdays. The normal days in the week match with tigers, lions, elephants, mice, guinea pigs, dragons and half-bird half-human is for Sunday.

He also instructed me with the Buddha bathing ceremony. The Buddhist lined up in front of the statue, bowed to pay respect and then hold a small scoop of scented water scattered on the Buddha statue. Three scoops of water that are poured into the Buddha symbol the cleanse of three negative karma in action, words, and thoughts. When bathing Buddha you have to be the most sincere. In the family order, older people go first, then children and grandchildren.

And so, he took me to explore every corner of the large temple that before, when being dazzled by the honey-like sunset, I ignored. This place is a sacred object of  Sunday, there is a special point on the foot of the Buddha, where is the candle liters to pray, and also where there is a large stone for you to pray and try to lift. He said that if I wished, then I can pray and lift the stone three times, if lifted, prayer will soon become reality.

Back to the rendezvous under a large tree, shining with a thousand light rays I found my inner peace. The red, pink orbs … glittering in my memory each time thinking about the Buddhist pilgrimage.

Notes

The temple does not burn incense but candles that are lighted outside.  Buddhists can eat and rest and organize music in the temple.

The guests who wear too short and thin clothes cannot enter the temple or they have to buy/borrow other clothes.

Visiting the temple in the early morning or evening is best because it is not too hot for the feet.

At the gate of the temple, you have to remove shoes and socks, including skin socks, and goes inside with bare feet. The cost of watching the slippers for each person or group is the same price 1,000 kyats (about 2,000 VND). If you take a plastic bag (sponge) to carry shoe along, it is the same cost. You should also bring some wet towels along to clean your feet after each visit.

Hope you enjoy your stay in Myanmar!

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