The Shwedagon, also Shwedagon-Paya is the main sacred building and the religious center of Myanmar in Yangon. It is considered the symbol of the whole country and is one of the most famous stupas in the world. According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda is more than 2500 years old. Archaeologists believe that the stupa was built sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries by the Mon people, but this dating is controversial. The Shwedagon Pagoda has been damaged by heavy earthquakes several times over the centuries.
Four covered entrances lead up through long flights of stairs to the Shwedagon Pagoda. The eastern entrance is the most traditional and leads past old monasteries. The 60,000 square meter platform consists of marble slabs. The main stupa rises 6.4 meters on a square platform and is surrounded by 60 smaller stupas and four larger ones on the transverse sides directly opposite the entrances, which mark the four cardinal directions. From this level, the chedi rises first 30 meters in three square, then in octagonal terraces that merge into five round terraces. The upper part of the chedi rises in bell shape above it.
Since the Shwedagon Pagoda has its attractions both during the day and in the evening, it is worthwhile to come here in the late afternoon and to first look at the area in daylight and then slowly experience the change from day to night.