Shwemawdaw Pagoda

view of shwemawdaw pagoda
Shwemawdaw Pagoda, seems like an enormous golden bell, built during 10th century and faced with many devastation due to storms and earthquakes is the highest pagoda in Myanmar.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda History

The shwemawdaw pagoda was erected with a height of 114 meters during the 10th century. The Mon King constructed this pagoda by enshrining the two hairs from the Buddha. According to antiquity, the two Myanmar merchants took this hair from the Gautama Buddha. They built a small tower to store the hair. After that, people repaired this tower and added a number of artifacts and named it Shwemawdaw Pagoda. In 825, people increased the height of the pagoda into 27 meters. The most important point is that this pagoda include several relics of Buddha. In 982 and in 1385, the tooth relic were sum up into the temple. The name of the shwemawdaw means Great Golden God because it can be seen as a vast golden bell from a couple of miles away. Moreover, it is the highest pagodas in Myanmar. On the other hand, the Bago region is exactly in the earthquake zone. So this pagoda is often suffered from not only earthquakes but also violent storms for many times.

Structures of Shwemawdaw Pagoda

At the entrance of the pagoda, the two massive animals, lions stand as guards of the pagoda. There are four major staircases in order to arrive the central golden temple. You can also research the impressive and cultivated architectural features along the staircase. The detail of the structure were graced meticulously so as to show the great creativity of Myanmar people. The campus and interior decoration are nearly similar with all of the pagodas in Myanmar.
Shwemawdaw Pagoda
Shwemawdaw Pagoda with two mythical lions at the entrance and surrounding environment
Furthermore, there are also numerous tiny pagodas at the base of the temple. Prior to the pagoda, there is a top portion of the pagoda which fell down during 1917 earthquake. People built it so as to remind the side effects from such violent geological disturbance. The king from the Hanthawaddy kingdom from the late 15th century was the donor of a bell on the main terrace. You can observe the bygone wooden and bronze Buddha images in the small museum. On the other hand, you can also discover the artifacts from 1930 earthquake. This earthquake made uncountable deterioration to the pagoda. Therefore people rebuild it and extended it’s height to contemporary condition in 1954. The pictures about the 1930 earthquake hangs along the walkway which leads to the pagoda.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda Opening Hours

It opens from around 6 am to nearly 9 pm for everyday and there is not any admission fees to charge. During Buddhist holidays and National Holidays, this pagoda is full of loaded with pilgrims.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival

The annual festival of this pagoda lasts for 10 days and which usually holds in Myanmar month of Tagu, especially between in March and April.

How to get there

This pagoda is neighboring with Kanbawzathadai Golden Palace and on the east of National Highway. From the downtown area of Bago, you can take a trishaw to this pagoda and it will not cost much.
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