Exploring the ancient pagodas in Myanmar

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Myanmar is famous for thousands of ancient pagodas with the unique structures. Behind these epic constructions, there are many mysterious things for you to find out.

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Shwedagon pagoda has 8 hairs of Buddha

Shwedagon pagoda

Shwedagon is the most sacred golden pagoda in Myanmar, located in Yangon city, with the body and top of the tower made of gold, and the tip is attached with thousands of diamonds and rubies. As in the legend, there are 2 brothers coming from Balkh city (now it is Afghanistan), they met Buddha and was given 8 hairs. After that, 2 brothers moved to Burma. With the help from the administrator of this land, they found Singuttara hill where they built this pagoda. On the top of the tower, there is a crown inlayed with over 7000 diamonds and rubies. The largest one is the 74-carat diamond.

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Shwezigon pagoda is decided to build by a white elephant

Shwezigon pagoda

Shweizigon is also a sacred ancient pagoda in Bagan. People believe that the location of this pagoda has been defined by a white elephant bringing the ruins of Buddha. This elephant was allowed to freely move in the area and where it stop is the place to build the pagoda. This pagoda lies on the center of a large area with many other temples and pagodas around. Shwezigon has the splendid structure like the famous Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon.

Dhammayangyi temple was built by a ruthless king

Dhammayangyi temple

The Dhammayangyi temple constructed by refined brick in the famous ancient Bagan has the shape of a huge and grandiose pyramid. This pyramid shape is also different from other traditional tower pagodas of Myanmar; they are usually in the shape of the tower up to the sky.

Nowadays, the Burmese people still don’t have any explanation for why king Narathu chose this structure. As in the legend, king Narathu had murdered his father and brother to get the throne. However, when he was on the throne, perhaps he scared of the things he had done in the past, he built the temple to express his worship to Buddha. Each entrance has 2 statues of Buddha representing his father and brother.

However, according to some explanations in the ancient books, they are the statues of 2 Buddhas: Gautama Buddha and Maitreya Buddha. The Burmese used to talk to others that king Narathu was very severe, he can cut the hand of any labor if the construction is not perfect, the bricks must be set so close together that a needle cannot go through.

There are about 9000 statues of Buddha in Pindaya cave

Pindaya cave

The system of Pindaya limestone cave is located in Shan state, Myanmar. This cave is famous for many statues of Buddha with the typical art style existing for many centuries. The Pindaya caves – where the precious things of Burma have been stored since 18th century – are the place of pilgrimage of the Buddhism followers and also the attractive destination for the foreign visitors.

There are 3 caves, but you can only visit the south cave. This cave is 150m long containing about 8000 statues of Buddha. Each statue has each shape and style; different styles represents for different ages.

The Popa mountain is considered “Olympia” of the Burmese people

Popa mountain

This is the large place of pilgrimage and the place to worship many gods of Myanmar. It is considered the legend house of the “soul” of Taung Kalat, where people worship 37 Nat gods or the saints in the traditional belief. There are many temples and religious vestiges. To go to the top of the mountain, visitors must get through 777 stairs (about 45 minutes). The Burmese believe that you should wear clothes in red, black or green color and you must take meat along when going to the mountain.

In Myanmar, you will find many beautiful pagodas and temples. You can easily enjoy the beauty of the pagoda here. There are many mysterious things not mentioned in this article, so you should travel Myanmar to find the yourself or get the best view about the beautiful structures of Myanmar.