• Myanmar (Burma)

    Posted on February 1st, 2010

    Written by Jaime


    , ,
    Yangon’s Shwedagon Paya

    Rising 326 feet above Yangon’s skyline, the Shwedagon Paya is Myanmar’s premier Buddhist site. Erected (supposedly) 2500 years ago, this compound is made up of a main stupa and 82 other buildings – most guided in gold.

    Originally standing just 66 feet high, the main stupa has been guilded, rebuilt, and tweaked to reach it’s current height and gold content. Successive monarchs pledged their weight (and in one case four times their weight) in gold leaf and as it sits today, it’s said to have accumulated 53 metric tons of it.

    What does all this gold do? Make for a super shiny experience, for one. You’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere that doesn’t glisten blindingly once you’re in the compound. It’s also an active religious site, which adds to the splendor. Monks and nuns are splayed around the stupa. Butter lamps are being lit, Buddha washing is taking place and the place is surprisingly devoid of huge tourist groups.

    Prayer at the Shwegadon Paya

    We went there around 4:00pm, with is the best time to capture the light off the golden buildings. The entrance fee was US $5. Be sure to take your shoes off before you enter the entrance hallway. We forgot and were greeted by a frantic monk waving at our feet. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as exciting a monk with your ignorance.

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    This entry was posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 8:39 pm and is filed under Myanmar (Burma). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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