Let’s start the day tour to the famous Golden Rock! To do so,we will start from Yangon and head towards the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock), a small pagoda located on the top of the hill, 1,100 meters high on the sea level. It is a very famous place among buddhists pilgrims.
About Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
Many people claim that the legendary Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden rock) is the third most important religious and Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar. It is well known for the balancing rock that seems to defy gravity, and it constantly looks like it will be rolling down the hill. It is said that the Golden Rock itself is perched on a strand of Buddha’s hair and that the rock looks like a monk’s head. As the rock and the pagoda are located on the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo, we also called it Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. It is located in Kyaito within the Mon State. It is the one of the most attractive place to visit in the area for travelers and tourists. Unfortunately, only men can see the inner sanctuary of the rocks as women are not allowed to paste golden leaves either enter and the security guards are watching over the entrance gates. Women are actually permitted to visit the lower courtyard in the outer balcony.
History of Kyaiktiyo Paogoda
The legend says that the Buddha gave a strand of his hair to a hermit called Taik Tha. The Hermit tucked it into his hair safely and give the strand to the king. Now the shape of the hermit’s head enshrined the hair in the rock as well as the wish. His father Zawgyi & mother a Naga (snake dragon princess) found the rock at the bottom of the sea. They found that Kyaiktiyo was the perfect place to build a pagoda and so to locate the golden rock with the help of the Thagyamin and the king of Tawadeintha Heaven in Buddhist cosmology. According to the legend, the strand of hair blocks the rock from falling off the hill. They also say that the boat used to carry the stone suddenly turned into a stone and you can still see it nowadays. It has been converted into a Pagoda called Kyaukthanban pagoda that is also worshiped by pilgrims at a location of about 300 meters far from the golden rock.
Fees and Timetable of the Golden Rock
First of all, it is important to recall that as a religious place, it is important to cover shoulders as well as knees and remove your shoes when entering inside a temple.
The fee to pay to visit the Golden Rock is 10000 kyats.
Hiking from the base of Kinpun, it takes about 11 km to reach the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. Along the streets, there are many recent temples and pagoda. The trekking is one of the tourist’s favorites ways to get there but it will takes about 5 hours. In the middle of the trek, you will find a small pond where you can swim and relax for a while before continuing your journey. You can also get there by truck for about 2.500 kyat, bus or cable car from Rathi Taung or Yathaetaung. There are also many other things to explore and observe around like many stupas or the nature.
Festival in Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
Usually the nine thousand candles lights festival takes place in Dahsaung during the Mon Full Moon Day so it is very crowded on theses days. Many people offer food in the morning and candles at night during a few days before and after the full moon occurs.
What can you do around?
After enjoying the breathtaking views on the Mon State and the Valley, when you climb down taking the stairs, you will find some small shops and teashops. You can see or buy there hand made toys for kids and Mon traditional costumes. Then you will get to the Crow Mouth. People make a wish and throw coins into the crow mouth, they believe that it will get them some luck. There are also some local restaurants where you can taste delicious traditional food. Near the Truck station in Kinpun, there is also a small atteaction park called Smile World.