First of all, Sule Pagoda is one of the significant landmarks in Yangon. Not only it is located in city center, but also adjacent to the other colonial era buildings. Many consider that it is more mature than the Shwedagon Pagoda because it is more than 2500 years old. Moreover, it is also surrounded by the primary traffic circle and you cannot find it in every city. On the other hand, you can observe small shops around the exterior base of the pagoda. Furthermore, you can examine not only cultural importance but also historical significance in Sule Pagoda.
Structures of Sule Pagoda
Sule Pagoda is Mon style pagoda and 44 meters in height. The pagoda reached its present height during the 15th century. People renovated this pagoda to enlarge for several times. It is also in the shape of dome structure and similar with temples in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. As far as I’m concerned, the main temple is in octagonal shape and it is as per usual. Minor Stupas, bronze bells and shrines contain buddha images encircle the main temple. You can visit there only through the four entrances leading to the pagoda.
History of Sule Pagoda
Sule was evocative of Myanmar words “Su Way” , means meeting. Once the British utilized Sule Pagoda as the center of their grid town. In 1880s, the British assembled all roads to converge into here in order to redesign Yangon. Many years ago, people manipulated this place as focal point so as to demonstrate political verification. In 1988, most of the university candidates organized here in order that they would like to appeal democracy. All citizens from Myanmar, recognized this incident as 8888 incident because it happend in 8th August of 1988. In 2007, the monks in golden revolution applied this place as a pivotal point on condition that they would get democracy. Finally, Sule Pagoda became the first murderous place where the Myanmar government against the protesters.
Another fascinating plot is that Alexander Fraser, who created the present street layout of Yangon designated Sule as the heart of Yangon. Nowadays Anawrahta Street, one of the major roads of Yangon once termed as Fraser Street.
Moreover, there was another history about this pagoda. According to the local legend, once the pagoda was the home of a powerful spirit. This spirit requested the King Okkalapa to erect a shrine for the Buddha’s sacred hair-relic.
Around Sule Pagoda
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, you can observe colonial period buildings around the Pagoda. You can study about City Hall, High Court and Independence Monument. You can find the monument in the center of the Mahabandoola Park. So you can take a rest there for a while. Sometimes, you will see the activities which held in the park. The most important point is that there is one of the elder Baptist Church, Emmanuel Baptist Church
How to get there?
It is on the core of a busy intersection and lies closely to the Central Railway Station and Bus Stop. I believe that you can take either bus or train to observe Sule Pagoda. Nowadays, you can also take Yangon Water Bus service up to visit Sule Pagoda. By taking this service, you can also breathe in the fresh air from Yangon River. It is a nice place to visit in the early morning and the late evening when the traffic is less.