Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon:
No visit to the Union of Myanmar is complete without a visit to the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines strands of Buddha's hair and other holy relics. Located west of the Royal Lake on 114 -acre Singuttara Hill in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of the Union of Myanmar. From a humble beginning of 8.2 meters, the Shwedagon Pagoda today stands close to 110 meters. Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond. It is clearly one of the wonders of the religious world. Shwedagon Pagoda is a repository of the best in Myanmar heritage -- architecture, sculpture and arts. The Shwedagon Pagoda consists hundreds colorful temples, stupas, and statues that reflects the architectural era spanning almost a 2,500 years. To understand this monumental work of art and architecture, visitors will experience an insider's view of this magnificent symbol of Buddhism to the lives of the Myanmar people. Shwedagon Pagoda forms the focus of religious as well as community activities -- the bustling of devotees and monks washing the statues, offering flowers, worshiping, and meditating. Shwedagon Pagoda is administered by the Board of Trustees of Shwedagon Pagoda.
1.Waxing Day of Tabaung -- the day before full moon day of the Myanmar Lunar month Tabaung (around March) and
2.Waxing Day of Wakhaung -- the day before full moon day of the Myanmar Lunar month Wakhaung (around June which is the beginning of the Buddhist Lent)
Shwedagon Pagoda is open daily. Last admission is at 21:45 hrs.
Entrance Fee: $8.00
As a mark of reverence when visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, visitors should dress appropriately and modestly.
Please follow the dress code - wear trousers or at least knee length shorts or skirt; t-shirts with elbow length sleeves are also expected and you are expected to be barefooted when entering Shwedagon Pagoda.If you are unsure as to the correct dress code, just err on the side of conservative dress and no-one will be offended.
Religious festivals which falls fall during almost every month of the Myanmar lunar calendar draw people to pagodas.
On the days of festival, the stairways and platform of Shwedagon are thronged by endless streams of devotees from dawn till midnight.
A few of the religious festivals bear special significance for the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The most significance festivals are known as :
- Festivals on the Full Moon Day of the Myanmar month " Tabaung " ( February- March ) , known as " Tabaung Festival ".
- Myanmar New Year Festival which is the water pouring festival and also called as " Thin- gyan Festival " in April.
- The Buddha Day Festival; known as " Kasone Festival " in April-May.
- Festival on the beginning day of the Buddhist Lent ; the " Waso Festival " in July.
- Festival on the last day of Buddhist Lent , which is known as " Thadingyut Festival " in October.
- Festival of weaving a robe for Buddha; called as the " Tazaungdaing Festival " in November.