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Myanmar > Pictures and travelogues > Yangon Sule Pagoda and Reclining Buddha

Sule Pagoda and Reclining Buddha of the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar: pictures.

Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar: altar of a nat
Sule Pagoda in Downtown Yangon, Myanmar: altar of a nat (Ugenio).

The Sule Pagoda is one of the main attractions in Downtown Yangon. It is reported to be over 2000 years old and was restored several times. It is older than the Shwedagon Pagoda. The Sule Pagoda is a 48 m high golden stupa which houses hair of Buddha, as suggested by its name in Mon (Kyaik Athok).

Sule Pagoda in Downtown Yangon, Myanmar
Sule Pagoda in Downtown Yangon, Myanmar

Unlike most other stupas (zedis) in Myanmar, the Sule Pagoda is octagonal from the base to the top. Thanks to its central position in the city, it is very frequented by local people. You find there palmists and astrologers too. The pagoda is surrounded by the Maha Bandula gardens, the City Hall, offices, shops, and an active day street market.

The pagoda is a landmark in the center of the city. It served as rallying point in both the 1988 uprisings and 2007 Saffron Revolution.

The pagoda was used as starting point by the British when they created the present street layout of Yangon in the middle of the 18th century. The mileage is calculated from that place.

In addition to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and the popular Sule Pagoda, a third pagoda of Yangon houses hair of Buddha: the Botataung Pagoda, which is located in the city center on the edge of the Yangon River. Completely destroyed during the Second World War, the Botataung Pagoda was rebuilt after the end of hostilities. Unlike other pagodas, this stupa is hollow inside and you can pass through it.

Reclining Buddha of the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
Reclining Buddha of the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.

Another attractive pagoda in Yangon is the Chaukhtatgyi (sometimes spelled Chauk Htat Gyi) Pagoda which is located about 3 km from the city center, north of Kandawgyi Lake. This is home to a beautiful Reclining Buddha. This statue is 65 m (213 ft) long and 17 m (56 ft) high. It is one of the longest reclining Buddha in Myanmar and in the world.

The face of the statue is topped by a crown inlaid with precious stones. The right hand supports the head. The left hand is extended along the body. 108 Lakshanas (auspicious signs of the Buddha) are engraved on the sole of the feet.

The statue is housed in a large metal-roofed shed. This Reclining Buddha dates back from 1907. It was restored and extended in the 1960s. A large statue of Buddha stood once at this location. When it collapsed, it was replaced by this long reclining Buddha. Like most pagodas in Myanmar, the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda is surrounded by 8 planetary posts, one for each day of the week, including two for Wednesday. Several Buddhist monasteries are located in the surrounding area.

Another Reclining Buddha in Myanmar is housed in the Shwethalyaung Pagoda in Bago.


See also

Myanmar > Pictures and travelogues > Downtown Yangon

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Sule Pagoda and Reclining Buddha of the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. Comprehensive travel guide to Myanmar with 200 great pictures.