The biggest Monument in Buddhism

The Shwedagon Platform and great pictures.

The central stupa is one of the holiest shrine in the Buddhist world and this has a reason just look through here. Actually this is a large pagoda platform with over more 300 temples and shrines grouped around.  
Basic Visiting Data:

Opening hours are from 04:00 AM to 22:00 PM every day, last admission is at 21:45.

Shwedagon Pagoda

There are two days of the year, the Waxing Day of Tabaung, means the day before full moon day of the Myanmar Lunar month Tabaung in March and on the Waxing Day of Wakhaung – the day before full moon day of Wakhaung the platform is open 24 hours.

When vising it needs to pay $ 8,- entrance fee. I never heard that there is an entrance fee in a church, Taoist temple, Mosque or Indian Temple. Only Buddhist use their Lord to cash in on foreigners, that's the same in Thailand but interestingly not in Malaysia. I think it is not a good idea to use Buddha to milk the tourist he definitely wouldn't like that. 

What to wear?

Clothing reaching at least down to knees and elbows, have your upper body covered up to the neck. No shoes allowed, there is a storage at the south entrance where you can leave them and also wash your feet after coming back. 

Be aware that the platform is covered with marble tiles that means from around midday to 3 pm it is almost impossible to walk since they are awfully hot. 

About the architecture.

Shwedagon Layout

The layout is a solid structures, enshrined are sacred relics or precious items set on the platform with more than 300 smaller buildings around. Here is another "Buddhist / Taoist" shrine Myanmar / Burmese Shrine in Georgetown, Penang Malaysia.

Surrounding the stupa are 72 small stone temples and shrines, each with one and more Buddha sculptures inside. In between are images of lions and elephants, Nats ( the ghost's) and Bilus ( terrifying demons ). The corners of the first base of the stupa are guarded by sphinxes and for "protection" are still 24 Chinthe figures six on each side plus some naga.

In the line with the axes opposite the entrances are four Tazaungs , this are halls, which are crowned with multi-story roofs . They are richly decorated and inside are the most revered of the Buddha sculptures where devotees are meditating and praying. Although the "Buddhist World" is more fragmented than Christians and Muslims this sacred shrine is probably the most famous among the devotees.

The real dimension one can see is after entering the platform since the main stupa is only one among many, although it is the biggest.

There are countless smaller shrines in the usual colors yellow, gold and white. How does the stupa look today? Its a rectangular platform with a dimension of 214 x 275 meters, extending from north to south, and is about 25 m over the flat terrain surrounding it.

As usual in Myanmar four stairways lead to the platform, which are aligned with the axes of the central stupa and covered with tiered roofs which is the typical Burmese platform architecture.

The western entrance has 175 steps; at the south side is the shortest with 104. The structure is terraced with a bell shaped top indicate the slopes of Mt. Meru, the abode of Hindu gods. The monument is a symbol of Buddha functions as a big protective chamber, the main difference is into a temple you can walk in, into a stupa you cant.

Shwedagon Platform

Visiting the platform and the central stupa of the complex at the southern part of the. The levels of the base almost merge with each other. Around the monument is a ring of smaller stupas rises that surround the central The Shwedagon has an elongated elegant silhouette, a classic example of a Buddhist stupa, read more.

Some other Buddhist Shrines elsewhere are here, actually there are thousands of them everywhere in the country, big and small, gilded and plastered wood and masonry, metal and plastic, jade and porcelain, just name it, it is overwhelming, read more

west entrance to the platform at Singuttara Hill
At the West Entrance, are two nine-meter high Chinthe figures, this are statues of fantastic guardians partly looking like lions built in a naive realism. As in many countries the lion is a symbol of power, read more.

In the stairways up to the platform are dozens of shops selling everything imaginable from toys to Buddha images, flowers etc. The Myanmar Girls below is preparing roses for donation to the Buddha Statues.  
cutting flowers for donation

Many people have "their" preferred shrine where they pray and present the flowers to their Lord. 

gold Buddha and flower donations

On the first step shoulder of the Shwedagon base are 64 small, three to four meters high pagodas. Four more which are a bit bigger rise at the axes of the complex. The central building is distinguished by noble proportions, carefully crafted details and by some games of light and shadow as the sun moves. The cover ( Hti ) on the top is from 1871. It consists of seven gold rings, diamonds and plenty of more donated gold and jewelry it is 10 m high.

donated jewelry

The diamond orb at the top

The diamond orb at the mast top >

The mast is made of a silver alloy and decorated with four golden Buddha bas-reliefs. This precious crowning of the stupa is studded with 5451 diamonds in various handcrafts weight of 2078 carats, and with about 1470 other precious stones. The total number of gold and silver bells fiber amounts to 1500.

Shwedagon Pagoda gold used. 

The lower part of the 99.5 meter-high monument is covered with gold leaf , the top with more than 14 000 gold films in the format 30 x 30 cm and a total weight of about 100 kg. The Hti sparkles in the glow of countless gold and silver bells that surround him. Above extends the mast with the likewise made of gold weather vane and the Seinbu ( the " diamond bud " in the form of a golden sphere of 25 cm diameter).

shwedagon pagoda yangon

Pagoda and tazaungs >

The edge of the platform is occupied by numerous buildings and objects of various shape and determination. This includes dozens of different stupas , Buddha images and numerous Tazaungs with bells and rest houses for pilgrims ( Zayats ) and administrative offices. They are distributed without any particular order.

People worshipped

Most objects on the platform were built in recent decades, especially after the devastating fire in 1931 , which destroyed 20 buildings particularly on the east and west sides .

The traditional walk around the central stupa narrows in some places up to 10 m and widens to other up to 30 m. The paving of dealing with Italian marble and mosaic slabs of concrete was carried out in 20 Century.

When visiting the place keep in mind that the marble gets heated up and it around noon riches as temperature which makes is almost impossible to walk on it, this is important to mention since nobody is allowed to wear shoes and similar stuff.

Every few decades the monuments get a "facelift" or renovation. This is a craft task with a political twist, because certain people move into the spotlight to gain merit and show others what devout Buddhists they are.

Praying to Buddha Statues
Myanmar Buddhism

The big Shwedagon Bell
The big Shwedagon Bell

Burma History the King >

buddha shrine

Buddha Sculpture >

Buddhist Monks
Pagoda Bells
sitting Buddha statues

Small Temple
shwedagon pagoda pictures

popular temple

sitting Buddha statue

Sitting Buddha statue >

There are thousands of temples and pagodas > in the country they show the deep faith the Burmese people have in Buddhism.  


  1. Definitely the greatest pics of the Shwedagon on planet earth, any other planet with similar Buddhist shrines?

  2. The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the greatest Buddhist piece in the world.
    So unlike any, Shwedagon Pagoda is constructed using the largest amount of gold.
    That's new !!!!!