Relics of the Buddhas in Myanmar’s Most Sacred Site
During our Myanmar Overland we took a late afternoon trip to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Described as the “most venerable place of worship in all the Indo-Chinese countries, it is the finest and most universally visited”. Built in 525 BC by King Okkalapa, the sanctity that surrounds this land is due to the belief that there are several relics of Gautama Buddha, as well as the three Buddhas who preceded him. These sacred items include a drinking gourd, eight hairs, a robe, and a staff. Over the years more and more buildings have been added and almost all in gold.
Not only were our surroundings incredible, but we also encountered many beautiful people as well.
At one point we witnessed a large group of Buddhists from Thailand who marched to a particular shrine, chanting along the way, and continued the chanting for several minutes afterwards.
It is a magnificent place to visit any time of day, but near sunset is particularly beautiful as candles and oil lamps are lit to enhance all of the gold. At this time the air is also cooler and even though there were hundreds of people, it was relatively quiet.