Pagodas and Buddhist Shrines are around everywhere in Buddha oriented countries in Asia they are also referred as Chedi – it depends on the country- they gave the country the name, the Land of Pagoda. In many other Asian countries such as, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan and others, they are present everywhere; in towns, villages, on hills and mountains, on the river banks and sometimes right in rivers and lakes. Gleaming golden or glinting bright white in the sunlight, the most attractive Burmese style shrineoutside the country is at Penang Georgetown in Malaysia. If you happen to be staying at a hotel in Penang visit the shrine, it’s a great Buddhist Temple.
These sacred shrines have its origin in the ancient Indian cave pagoda -more further below- , a tomb-like structure where sacred relics could be kept safe and venerated. The style has spread across Asia over time, morphing into different forms as influence of different regions came into the overall design.
One of the most venerated shrines is the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the country has two of the largest temple cities in the world: Bagan, in the dry zone and Mrauk U or Myohaung in the northwest of the country near the border to Bangladesh.
Bagan, an ancient capital between 1044 and 1287 AD, is thought to be the birthplace of the Myanmar civilization.
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon – main Buddhist Shrine and countless small shrines and temples, more
The Shwedagon in Yangon or Rangoon
is probably the “Mother of all Pagodas”, this is the “Vatican” of the Buddhist world
The full moon pagoda festival at this shrine in Yangon is the most important one, this is about Easter time in Europe.
This shrine is the heart and soul of Yangon, a major place of pilgrimage, equivalent of the Kaaba at Mecca.
‘The fairest place, as I suppose,’ thought Ralph Fitch, ‘that is in the world.’ Fitch had seen the splendors of the Mogul Empire long time ago. Today this is a tiny oasis, in a desert of modernity, where the soul and glamour of the ancient Orient endures.
This huge construction has a special position in the world of Buddhism it is the only shrine recognized as enshrining relics not only of Gautama, but also of the three preceding him. Relicts enshrined consist of eight hairs, four of them original, given in his lifetime, and four others, miraculous reproductions generated from them in the course of their journey from India.
These relicts, according to some officials, flew up, when the box containing them was opened, to a height of seven palm trees. They emitted rays of various hues, which caused the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk. Later, a rain of jewels fell, covering the earth to knee’s depth. The treasure buried with these relics was of such value that, centuries later, the report of it reached the ears of the King of China, who made a magic figure in human form, and sent it to rob the shrine. This creature, says the chronicle, was so dazzled by the structures appearance, that it hesitated, and while in this waiting state was attacked and cut to pieces by the spirit guardians.
Shwedagon at Yangon or Rangoon
Shwezigon Pagoda Bagan
It was the habit of the kings to make lavish gifts for the embellishment,
diamond vanes, jewel-encrusted hti or umbrellas, or at least their weight in gold, to be used in re-gilding.
at 18 th. Century and Chintes or Guardians
Boys about to enter the novitiate
Early on the morning of Good Friday the festival was at its height. The road to the platform was lined with shrines and stalls selling flowers and all kind of other things. Streams of jeeps and pick ups went past, taking worshippers.
A few of them were disguised with a carnival decoration of cardboard peacocks, and were carrying boys, about to enter the novitiate, to pray there before the ceremony began. The boys wore expensive imitations of the old Burmese court dress,
with helmets and epaulets like sprouting wings, and their attendants held golden umbrellas over their heads.
The visitor can leave the shoes in the tourist center where there are also facilities to wash the feet at return, from here a elevator bring you up to the platform, this is at the southern entrance.
Using the entrance at the west, north or the covered stairway needs to climb the steps. All the way up from the east side, there were stalls selling flowers, gongs, votive offerings, and ugly toys.
Western Stairway to the Shwedagon
Barefooted crowds move in and up the steps with the murmuring of hushed voices. The air was full of the odor of flowers, candles and incense sticks. From somewhere above came the deep, melodious breathing of gongs. Coming out to the platform or terrace a brilliant spectacle comes up.
The before mentioned Fitch, a adventurer, who saw Venice, Goa and the East Indies of his days, had stood here in admiration, although unable to refrain from a sour aside on the vanity of consuming gold leaves in such a way. Coming in from the west entrance, the terrace is lined with shrines, guardian ogres, fabulous
beasts, and mild-faced, winged gorgons squeezed in between and behind them.
In the immediate background, rises a golden escarpment, a featureless cliff of precious metal, spreading a misty heights, in which the crawling shapes of pilgrims, sticking on their gold-leaf.
The innumerable foreground shrines are banked with flowers, and decked with die votive parasols which usefully protect an image from the sun in a tropical country, often replace the candles necessary to light its cavern in the north.
When they wanted to pray with offerings of flowers held between the palms
Dozens of Buddha statues, images and shrines
hundreds of images and shrines were to choose from, of gold, silver, marble and wood.
Myanmar Buddhists insist with the emphasis that they are not worshipping the material object, but the great principle it represents.
People worshipped Buddha shrines individually, or in groups, directing themselves vaguely towards the spire. Year old babies were lowered tenderly into the ritual position, where, often unable to straighten themselves, they sprawled in adoration, until recovered.
A large shrine with a reclining Buddha
On this day there were many ways to acquire merit: by buying water in plastic bottles from the sellers and pouring it over the images that sat in the hot sun; by relighting candles that had gone out, and replacing parasols that had fallen down and striking a gong, and then the ground beneath it, to call the attention of the nats of the earth and sky to the worshipper’s prayers.
Until the recent times Buddhists
from all over the East traveling as freely as did European pilgrims to Santiago de Compostella and Monte Sant’ Angelo, visited the Shwedagon for this festival. About 200 meters from the foot of the platform the Government had organized a secular festival, a combination of a pwe and fair, that was not quite successfully one thing or the other. A very slow dance to the music of drums and flutes, stopping occasionally to beat himself on the chest in the Tarzan manner. Suddenly they went into action, leaping into the air like fighting-cocks. There was much initial flurry, an exciting spectacle lasting a few seconds, when both men tried to floor each other with flying kicks.
A clinch followed with unrestricted use of knees, fists and elbows. The winner is decided when, as a spectator explained, ‘the first blood oozes out’. With typical regard for foreign susceptibilities this man was kindly doing his best to outline the rules governing the contest.
A beautiful glass mosaic structure
At midnight a straight theatrical show started in one of the tents. The first scent: showed a young men engaged in the hopeless courtship of a girl who, it was made clear, led him on, only to spurn him cruelly. At first she smiled, but the moment he approached, her smile turned to a grimace of contempt. These tactics were repeated several times. then the scene changed and we were whisked back in time a hundred years or so, to be present at a function of the court, with our hero in a previous existence as a prince, and the lady who had first been treating him with such unexplained malice, in the role of a minor lady of the palace.
By their gestures it was evident that the prince had trifled with her affections, and was now casting her off in favor of one more suited to his station. The scene changed again and so did the epoch. What an aid to a flagging plot, to be able to extend the device of the flash-back, not only to the characters’ pasts, but to their previous incarnations! But also, alas, how it holds up the action!
Sitting gold statue
Gold covered Sculpture
on planet earth and we show you pictures in top quality. The shrines are a pleasure for the eyes of everyone looking at it. Chinese Buddhist shrines are not so many anymore since the lunatic communists destroy most of them. Bagan was implemented by the colonial English and has nothing to do with Paganism, that’s a religious sect.
A mountain or hill with a shrine is more or less a synonym of Burma, many mountains have them on top. Probably the most famous is at Kyaiktyio Mon State. Every day hundreds of devotees make their pilgrimage tour to the Kyaiktyio or Golden Rock Pagoda on the blue mountains between near the border to Thailand, read more.
Mandalay and the Mahamuni temple
Mandalay at the Mahamuni Temple pond
Seen from Mandalay Hill
At the banks of the Irrawaddy
Sagaing temple and Irrawaddy River
Hsinbyume shrine at Mingun
Settawya temple at Mingun
new structure of a quite big shrine
Kyauktawgyi Pagoda at Amarapura
Mrauk U at Rhakine or Arakan Pagodas
state in northwest Myanmar near the Border to Bangladesh with famous shrines and temples such as the
Shite-thaung Temple and the Sakyamanaung plus Htukkant Thein
Mrauk U stone shrine
Pictures of Ancient Temples
At Pyi or Pyay or Prome in central Myanmar
At Sagar Shan State
Sule shrine in Yangon
Powintaung Cave Pagodas Pictures
At Powintaung near Monywa
Thambuddhe temple at Monywa
A prayer at Sagar
At Sagar close to Inle Lake
At Mandalay, Sagaing and Mingun
At Sagaing opposite Mandalay
Kaung Hmu Daw Shrine at Sagaing
Old temple at Bagan
Several shrine at the Irrawaddy River
Buddhist Meditation Center at Sagaing
Thambuddhe Pagoda at Monywa
Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of the Mandalay hill. It constitutes the Worlds Biggest Book in Mandalay. If piled up it will reach the height of 20 storied high rise building. Around are Buddhist Canon of Tripitaka Texts, inscribed on 729 marble slabs and housed in small shrines there.
White shrines during monsoon
Kuthodaw complex at the foot of the Mandalay hill
The world biggest book pages are marble slabs
U Min Thone Sae Temple Sagaing
U Min Thone Sae Inside
At Bagan, the most famous Pagoda City on this Planet
Temples at Bagan in the late afternoon sun
Pagoda and temples at dawn in Bagan
Shrine with golden Bell
Buddha Shrines at Bagan and Oxcart
Bupaya at the Irrawaddy River
Old Buddha Shrine looks very good
Shwezigon, Chinthe and Irrawaddy
Temples at Sunset with the Irrawaddy in the back
At Lake Inle and Pindaya Cave Pagoda
At the Shwedagon Platform
Real music around there is more or less only the bang of the gong to tell everyone a denotation was made.
Cave Pagoda Powintaung outside
Cave Pagoda at Powintaung Myanmar
close to Monywa, upper Myanmar. 14 miles (22 km) From the banks of the Chindwin river are the natural rock caves of Powintaung.
A unique location over 3 hills; The pathways, vestibule chambers and Buddha sculptures are carved out of solid rocks.
According to the inscriptions, these caves are more than 700 years old.
Caves templeshave been used by Buddhists of the early days in India.
Powintaung and Buddhist Shrine
Interior with antique Buddha statues
Caves Mystic Guardians
Ancient Thailand Pagoda at Sukhothai
Thai shrine at Sukhothai
Big Buddha of Koh Samui
Pagoda pictures at Chalong Phuket
Shrine at Chiang Mai
At Chiang Mai
At Chiang Mai Interior
Chiang Mai Buddha and temple
Pagoda Festival in Shan State
Festival Girls in Nun Robes
Ladies carrying donations
Young festival Girl