Portrait of Yangon

The cosmopolitan capital city of Myanmar, still maintains its colonial charm with wide tree lined avenues, tranquil lakes and gracious turn of the century architecture. The magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda dominates the city skyline, while at street level Yangon is a paradise for hunting out a variety of exotic arts and crafts. Of particular interest in the many shops of Scotts Market and of world renown are Myanmar’s precious stones – rubies, sapphires and jade. At night time Chinatown comes alive with its pungent aromas and delicious street foods.

Burmese culture

• The Burmese Epigraphy and Calligraphy hall on the Ground Floor contains exhibits on the origins and development of Burmese script/alphabet throughout history, as well as exhibits on other ancient and ethnic scripts.
• In the hall on culture are exhibits on Burmese rural life, covering social, economic and cultural traditions and modes of transport. Examples include a traditional Burmese bullock cart, still in use in many parts of the country, an offering bowl for monks, gilded and wrought with mosaics of semi-precious stones, and personal ornaments and jewelry worn by the Burmese people since ancient times.
• The Halls of Arts covers the progress of the Burmese art, beginning with the cave paintings of from Stone Age to the Bagan, Innwa, Taungoo, Konbaung and Yadanabon periods to 20th century contemporary art. The works of famous artists are on display.
• In the Hall of Performing Arts are many musical instruments and an ornate saingwaing (traditional Burmese orchestra) as well as marionettes used in classical dramas and operas.
• The Hall of Ethnic Culture on Fourth floor shows national dresses and traditional artifacts of various ethnic groups of Myanmar.
• Fourth floor of the museum consists of halls for the Buddha Images, dating back to the Pyu Period and up to the present day.

Historic periods

• In the exhibit hall on Natural History are many fossils dating back millions of years, including a 40 million year old an anthropoid primate, found in the Pondaung region in Upper Myanmar.
• The hall of Pre-historic Times houses a replica of the Padalin Cave, complete with its over 10,000 year old stone age drawings, stone weapons of the neolithic period, and bronze weapons of a later age. The hall also has exhibits on Pyu period (1st-to-9th century) artifacts such as clay pots, urns, votive tablets and necklaces as well as those found in archaeological excavations at the ancient Pyu city of Sriksetra.

Shwedagon Pagoda

The beautifully majestic Shwedagon Pagoda; officially titled Shwedagon Zedi Daw, also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a nearly 110 metres (360 ft) gilded pagoda and stupa that is located west of Kandawgyi Lake and sits upon 114 acre holy Singuttara Hill in the heart of Yangon. Your trip will not be complete without a visit to this 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda that enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. This is because it was the holy resting spot of the relics of three Buddhas. Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest one is a 72 carat diamond. It is clearly one of the wonders of the religious world. The origin of Shwedagon Pagoda materialized in brilliant epoch in Buddhist history over 2,500 years ago where in India, the two merchant brothers Taphussa and Bhallika met the Lord Gautama Buddha and offered a gift of honey cakes to Buddha in BC 588. In return, the Buddha personally removed eight hairs from his head and gave these to the two brothers. They traveled back to their native towns of Okkalapa in Burma which is now Yangon and a party was celebrated in honor of their return by the local ruler, King Okkalapa of Burma and his people. The two brothers presented a golden casket containing the Buddha’s hairs to the kings. When the king opened the golden casket, the unimaginable things happened such as tumult among men and spirits, rays emission from the Hairs that penetrate up to the heavens above and down to hell, a great rocking earthquake, lightning flashed, gems rained down until they were knee deep and all trees of the Himalayas, though not in season, bore blossoms and fruits.

A shrine was created to bestow the eight sacred hairs in a zedi on Singuttara Hill and the area was deemed sacred. An enormous pagoda was then created atop the hill to house the shrine and it is considered one of the most sacred places in Myanmar. The pagoda itself is an extraordinary architectural achievement. The top soars well over 300 ft into the air (approximately 100 meters or more) above the hilltop and can be seen from quite far away. The Shwedagon, which means, loosely translated, “golden hills” is magnificently made out of gold and jewels all over.
The details as to exactly when and how the construction of the pagoda began are somewhat sketchy, but writings document that it was well-known and visible by the 11th century. Over the years, various kings and queens took part in renovating it, and enlarging the structure, making it even taller and grander than before. The beauty and of the architecture and design will take your breath away, as will the sparkling, light catching jewels. This astonishing holy place, filled with history and legend, is not to be missed on your journey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shwedagon_Pagoda
http://www.shwedagonpagoda.com/

Kabaaye Pagoda

Kaba Aye, meaning World Peace, was built to commemorate the sixth Buddhist Synod in 1954 which was held in maha Pasana Guha(Cave) within the same compound. The Buddhist Museum, Maha Pasana Cave & Wizaya Mingala Dhammathabin Hall are also located in the same place.
Kabar Aye Pagoda is located on Kabar Aye Road. Mayangone Township. Yangon. Myanmar. The name “Kaba Aye” in Myanmar means “World Peace” to which this pagoda is dedicated.

Different from the other pagodas. Kabar Aye Pagoda was only built during 1952. This pagoda is significant for the Sixth World Buddhist Synod which was held in its large precinct in 1954. Myanmar people are Theravada Buddhist and are very deeply devoted to the religion. For the Sixth Buddhist Council. which was held during 1954-56. the Kabar Aye Pagoda was built in dedication to the council. The pagoda was built in 1954. The Kabar Aye Pagoda compound is a large one intended to have peace and quiet environment for the monks (Sangas) and the devotees.

Structure

The circular platform around the main pagoda is enclosed in the manner of a cave-temple and there are five porches decorated in the traditional style of flamboyant arched pediments. lotus flowers. lotus buds and the swastika motif in carved stucco. The main pagoda is 117 feet 6 inches (35.82m) high. with subsidiary smaller pagodas on the five porches each 8 feet (2.4m) high. The compound of the Kabar Aye Pagoda is a large one consisting of many monasteries and the stairways to the pagoda are full of vendors on both sides. selling many hand made products.

The Buddhist Art Museum. Maha Pasana Cave and newly built Wizaya Mingala Dhammathabin Hall are also located in the same precinct.

Travel Tips

Opening Hours - 6am to 8pm daily
Admission Fees - US$5 per person
Location - Kabar Aye Road. Mayangone Township. Yangon. Myanmar

Nearby Attractions

Buddhist Art Museum

The Buddhist Art Museum at the Kabar Aye Pagoda has a wide collection of religious paraphernalia and Buddhist texts.

Maha Pasana Cave

To the North of the World Peace Pagoda. there is a great man-made cave 455 feet (138.32m) in length. 375 feet (114m) wide and having an internal dimension of 220 feet (66.88m) x 140 feet (42.56m) made in the shape of the cave in India. where the first Buddhist Synod or Great Council was held just some months after the Buddha went through Parinivarna. the Decease. The name of the Kabar Aye Cave is "Maha Pasana". meaning "Great Cave of Stone" and was built in 1953. It was in this great cavern that the Sixth Buddhist Synod was inaugurated in the year 2498 of the Buddhist Era (1954 AD) with 2500 venerable monks convening to recite and verify the words of the Buddha in Pali. the entire Tipitaka. which in printed form would take up about 40 volumes. The participants recited. edited. and approved the entire Buddhist scriptures known as the Three Pitakat. The cavern measures 455 by 370 feet.

Gems Museum

The Gems Museum is located about 10 minutes walk from the Pagoda.

Kabar Aye Pagoda (or) the World Peace Pagoda

Unlike other pagodas found all over the country, the Kabar Aye Pagoda was built in 1952, as it name implies, it is dedicated towards the realisation of global peace. The circular platform around the main stupa is enclosed in the manner of a cave-temple and there are five porches decorated in the traditional style of flamboyant arched pediments, lotus flowers, lotus buds and the swastika motif in carved stucco. In passing it might be pertinent to explain why and how the swastika came to be associated with Buddhism. As some dictionaries of the English language will point out, the origin of the term swastika is svastika from Sanskrit denoting "well being"-the device being associated with sun worship and veneration of the wheel originating with the ancient Aryans. To Buddhists however, it is in the context of its association with Dhammacakka (the Wheel of Law), the first sermon preached by the Buddha after attaining enlightenment, that this rotating wheel motif is employed on religious structures.

Mahapasanna Cave

The main stupa is 117 feet 6 inches (35.82m) high, with subsidiary stupas on the five porches each 8 feet (2.4m) high. North of the World Peace Pagoda, there is a great man-made cave 455 feet (138.32m) in length, 375 feet (114m) wide and having an internal dimension of 220 feet (66.88m) x 140 feet (42.56m) made in the shape of the "Sattapani Grotto" near Rajagaha city of India where the first Buddhist Synod or Great Council was held just some months after the Buddha went through Parinivarna, the Decease. The name of the Kabar Aye Cave is "Maha Pasana", meaning "Great Cave of Stone" and was built in 1953. It was in this great cavern that the Sixth Buddhist Synod was inaugurated in the year 2498 of the Buddhist Era (1954 AD) with 2500 venerable monks convening to recite and verify the words of the Buddha in Pali, the entire Tipitaka, which in printed form would take up about 40 volumes.

Kandawgyi Lake and Kandawgyi Garden

A scenic park with a lovely view of Kandawgyi Lake is located on Nat Mauk Road and is close to Shwedagon Pagoda. One can find a variety of beautiful flowers, the natural scene of the lake water and large shady trees. The beauty of Karaweik Hall also shows a unique work of art to be explored in the heart of Kandawgyi Lake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandawgyi_Lake
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-yangon/kandawgyi-garden.htm

Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market)

Bogyoke Aung San Market is a major bazaar built in 1926 and is the second most attraction for visitors to Yangon. It is situated in central Yangon, known for its colonial architecture and inner cobblestone streets. It has the largest selection of Myanmar souvenirs in one place. A variety of interesting Myanmar lacquerware, antiques, Myanmar handicrafts, tapestries, rattan products, herbal medicines, bamboo trinkets, art galleries, traditional Myanmar clothing, thanaka wood (used for grinding the cream on a circular stone slab and applied from head to toe especially on face to protect the skin from suburn, to help remove ace and promote smooth skin), gold, silver and various kinds of gems and jewellery are available at this market. Village and rural artifacts such as water buffalo bells and rustic utensils, brass weights and stone carvings, figurines and crystals give collectors a wide selection of unique choices. Perhaps one of the best buys is the original works of Myanmar artists. Watercolors and drawings of talented local artists fill the perimeter of one of the market inner passages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogyoke_Market
http://www.bogyokemarket.com/main/index.html
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-yangon/bogyoke-market.htm

Taukkyan War Cemetery

The cemetery was built in 1951 and is located 32km from Yangon on the road to Bago. It is a memorial cemetery to over 30,000 British Commonwealth soldiers who died in battle in Burma during World War II. A closer look at the Rangoon Memorial reveals that a high number of the soldiers are from Africa and the sub-continent. This beautiful and peaceful landscaped ground has 27,000 stone graves where relatives of the soldiers from all over the world come to pay homage to their loved ones. The people of Myanmar never destroyed the graves of the Japanese Imperial Fallen Soldiers with hatred throughout the country. Myanmar kept very well not only the graves of Japanese Imperial Fallen Soldiers but also all the Fallen Soldiers from all over the World from heartfelt humanitarian ground. There is a stone monolith engraved with “THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taukkyan_War_Cemetery
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-yangon/war-cementary.htm

Sule Pagoda

The Sule Pagoda is an excellent landmark and part of the city’s economic and public life. It is a monument located in the heart of downtown Yangon which most foreign visitors pass by unnoticed and it is the only central piece of the capital like the Arc de Triumph in Paris. According to legend, it was built before the Shwedagon Pagoda during the time of Buddha, making it more than 2,500 years old. The Sule Pagoda was made the center of Yangon by Lt. Alexander Fraser of the Bengal Engineers, who created the present street layout of Yangon soon after the British occupation in the middle of the 19th century. (Lt. Fraser also lent his name to Fraser Street, now Anawrattha Street and still one of the main thoroughfares of Yangon). It is a Mon-style pagoda in its unusual octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and inverted bowl, with each side 24 feet long; its height is 144 feet, 9 1/2 inches. The dome structure, topped with a golden spire, extends into the skyline, marking the cityscape. The traffic swirled the pagoda and a pedestrian bridge renders it safe for the pilgrims to reach to one of Yangon’s oldest pagodas. It is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non-religious services such as of astrologists, palmists, and so on. Walking around the precinct will give you the sight of pious devotees performing deeds of religious merit as well as the view of the surroundings – the towering Independence Pillar in the Maha Bandoola Park, the Immanuel Church, the mosque nearby, the imposing City Hall of Myanmar architectural design, the High Court Buildings of colonial style and major causeways from different directions making a circuit around Sule Pagoda hillock. Sule Pagoda provides a commanding position to enjoy the cityscape and to watch city life goes by.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sule_Pagoda
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-yangon/sule-pagoda.htm

Kaba Aye Pagoda (or) the World Peace Pagoda

Kaba Aye Pagoda formally Thiri Mingala Gaba Aye Zedidaw was built in 1952 which its name dedicated towards the realization of global peace. It was built to commemorate the sixth Buddhist Synod in 1954 which was held in Mahapasana Guha Cave within the same compound. The Buddhist Museum, Mahapasana Guha Cave and Maha Wizaya Mingala Ordination Hall are also located in the same place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaba_Aye_Pagoda
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-travel/myanmar-yangon/kabaraye-pagoda.htm

National Museum

The National Museum is located on Pyay Road and has five floors of exhibitions. It has been opened to public since 18 September 1996. It has an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, ornaments, work of arts, inscriptions and historic memorabilia, related to history, culture and civilization of Burmese people. The museum’s collections are displayed over 14 galleries or halls of Burmese cultures and Burmese Historic Periods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Myanmar
http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-culture/national-museum.htm