Botataung Pagoda is a different type of temple and it is considered to be one of the most unusual temple in Myanmar. Actually, it is famous because it does not have a solid core and visitors can enter into a cavity but it is also over than 2.500 years old. Let’s learn more about the Botataung Pagoda in Yangon!
History of Botataung Pagoda
First of all, the Botahtaung Pagoda is interesting because of its name. ‘Bo’ represents ‘leader’ and ‘tahtaung’ indicates ‘thousand’. When we combine both words together, the actual meaning is thousands of leaders. Many consider that thousands of leaders served as escorts when the relics of Buddha were conducted from India to Myanmar. So I believe that people named the temple so as to honor these military leaders.
In 1948, while they were rebuilding the pagoda, people discovered a relic chamber. Inside this chamber, they also found out a stone casket that was encircled by a spirit carved on it. When they opened the casket, they discovered a wealth of ancient artifacts as well as images of gold and silver, precious stones and a memorial tablet with the portrayal of Buddha. One of the rear of the tablets, depicted the Buddha into Mon Language.
Botahtaung Bo Bo Gyi
Bo Bo Gyi (the great grand father) refers to the name of a guardian spirit. In my opinion, it is as per usual that the guardian spirit is special for each pagoda in Myanmar. After paying homage to the pagoda, pilgrims go straight to Bo Bo Gyi to fulfill their desires.
The most important point is that there were a group of Thai tourists that visited this place many years ago. When they noticed about Bo Bo Gyi, they granted their wishes by touching their foreheads with his forefinger. Their wishes became true. Therefore, the news spread throughout the Thailand Kingdom like a wildfire. Since that time, the amount of Thai visitors had been growing year by year. Moreover, Thai Buddhists donated air conditioners and the wooden flooring. You can enjoy and observe this spirit on the left side of the pagoda.
You can also explore Botahtaung harbour also known as botahtaung jetty. It is only a few minutes walking to reach this place from the pagoda. You can also take a fresh breathe of air near the river and pinpoint the different sellers. I am sure that you will not believe your eyes when you realize that the Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel is located at the jetty.
Structures of Botahtaung Pagoda
The structure is 40 meters high and embodies a sacred hair relic of Buddha as per usual in Buddhism. During the second World War, an airforce bombing mission destroyed the temple. Therefore, people worked out on rebuilding it, in order to get an original design in 1948. However, current Myanmar Architecture influenced the rebuilt pagoda. Even though you will miss the ancient architecture, you will still be able to admire the original structure inside the temple.
Unlike most the pagodas, Botahtaung does not have a solid core. Therefore, pilgrims can infiltrate into a large internal cavity to enjoy an ancient relic chamber in the center of the cavity.
Botahtaung Pagoda Festival
Every year around the full moon of Nadaw, either November or December, there is an homage-paying ceremony. This ceremony usually lasts for 9 days and nearly a thousand of visitors come to enjoy the festival each year.
Conditions Around Botahtaung Pagoda
There are some other interesting colonial buildings along Kannar Road. The most important one is Strand Hotel. It is only 5 minutes far if you take the public transport there from Botahtaung and it is worth it.
Entrance Fee and Opening Hours
Botahtaung Pagoda opens daily from 6am to 9:30pm and entrance fee will be around US$5 per person.