Monday, January 23, 2012

Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma

Welcome. Thanks for coming to my blog.

The focus is Burma and the posting is dedicated to the Shwedagon Pagoda ရွှေတိဂုံ ဘုရာ also called Shwedagon Paya in Yangon. Glorious and completely over the top, I was stunned by its beauty at sunset and touched by the devotion of the people. I hope you will be too when you see the photos.

Gleaming in gold and decorated with diamonds, it is a spectacular work of Burmese temple architecture and is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Myanmar.

Legend has it that the Shwedagon Pagoda is 2,500 years old, but archaeologists estimate it was first built sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries (i.e. during the Bagan period).

This first photo is one of the 4 entrances to Shwedagon Pagoda. Next time Inlay Lake and it's local markets. See you then. Alan

A close up from the same spot

Beautiful pillars just inside the
southern entrance

The Pagoda is 112 metres high

You can see that part of it is being repaired

Gold everywhere which gleams
in the golden sunlight of late

There are shrines as you walk
around the main stupa. Buddhists walk
in a clockwise direction (as do Hindus).
To do this is auspicious and perhaps
comes from the direction the planets rotate
around the sun. You are in harmony
with the energy of the universe

Packed tightly together

Golden and gleaming Buddha

The large platform/terrace that supports the
great stupa contains a variety of other stupas,
prayer halls, sculptures and shrines

Daniela with Magnolia, a Burmese
friend who showed us so much kindness

A number of the shrines are
associated with eight "days"
(Wednesday is divided into
morning and afternoon),
based on one's day of birth.
Each has an associated planet,
direction and animal sign

It is very important for Burmese
buddhists to know which day of the
week they are born, so they
know which shrine they should
pray at

A rather different building. Does anyone know
what it is? A water tank comes to mind but that
can't be right!

The gold seen on the stupa is made of genuine
gold plates, covering the brick structure and
attached by traditional rivets

One of the many shrines
surrounding the main stupa

The Buddha inside in shadow
and light


Myanmar people all over the country, as well
as monarchs in its history, have donated gold
to the pagoda to maintain it. The practice
continues to this day after being started in the
15th century by the Mon Queen Shin Sawbu,
who gave her weight in gold (she wasn't very
heavy, only 40 kg!)

Gorgeous colours and lines

All shapes and sizes!

A cluster of prayer halls

Talk about being in your face!

Fabulous pavilion with images
of the Buddha

Which way to look first!

Bathed in gold

The Pagoda Terrace is one of the most
amazing sights I have seen

Bathing the Baby Buddha of your birth day
is very auspicious

A male monk talking to two female

It is the ambition of every
Burmese monk to visit
Shwedagon, the holiest Pagoda
in Burma



I love this photo


A forest of stupas!

Steps for refurbishing the main
stupa. Even they seem gold!

The crown (or umbrella) of the main stupa is
tipped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies.
The very top, the diamond bud is tipped with
a 76 carat (15 g) diamond.............

More shrines and........

...........more devotion

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Walk in Yangon, Burma, part 1

Welcome and Happy New Year. This is my first posting of 2012.

We had a wonderful time in Burma. We visited Yangon, Inlay Lake and Bagan. I will be posting a lot of photos from this trip. Beautiful country and lovely people.

Yangon, the commercial capital of Burma. These photos take you on a walk, starting with the first shot taken from our room window in the Traders Hotel, on Sule Pagoda Road.
I hope you enjoy the walk


Sule Pagoda. ဆူးလေဘုရား Legend has it that it
is more than 2500 years old. A very important
religious and political structure in Yangon

Yangon City Hall ရန်ကုန်မြို့တော်ခန်းမ; a fine
example of Burmese architecture

Formerly the Supreme Court
of Burma
. It has been moved to
the new capital, Naypyidaw (the Court,
not the building..)

Next to the old American Embassy. Guys playing
"keep the ball up in the air". A popular game in
S.E. Asia. Oh, and one spectator

Burmese truck full of people

Two of the passengers

A residential building in the same street

Interesting architecture with the arch windows
carved into the facade

Daddy with his princess who's wearing a 'tiara'

Haven't seen one of these for a while. Not sure
what special power it needs? Fingertip power maybe!

Another view of Sule Pagoda, this time from
the south

The East Hotel on Sule Pagoda Road
dwarfed by the Hitachi tower, but
making its point! We stayed there on
our final night before returning to Singapore

Mum feeding her baby

A water seller. Happy, but a little
embarrassed to be photographed

Dappled lady. Love the blouse. To protect her skin
from the sun she is wearing the traditional Thanaka
(သနပ်ခါ) paste

Very colourful rickshaw driver being paid by his
passenger. No motorbikes are allowed in Yangon.
Too many people were injured and killed so
they were banned

We love our ice lolly!

Do you think she'll share it with her Mum?

A typical street near the port

Handsome windows

Workers perched precariously
on scaffolding repairing an
Indian temple

Children at play in the street

Cooperative effort

The famous Bogyoke Market ဗိုလ်ချုပ်အောင်ဆန်းဈေး
formerly Scott's Market being refurbished. If you look
closely at the top right of the scaffolding on the tower
there is a man
working even more precariously. No
safety net. One advantage of this type of scaffolding
though is you can still see the building!

Now you can see the worker clearly. I hate heights.
Just looking at him gives me the eebie jeebies!

Inside the market. It was quiet when we were there

When I'm a little embarrassed
I put my fingers in my mouth

But I'm proud of my little brother so I'm not
embarrassed anymore

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Boy that was heavy!

Next time the famous and amazing Shwedagon Pagoda