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Photographer's Note

Golden rock pagoda. Very special place. If the sun shines the rock reflects a thousands rays. However we visited in july during rain season and the place was covered in clouds. Nevertheless i thought it intersting to include the boys playing football on the lower square. I think it adds some liveliness to an otherwise gloomy picture. Of course, gloomy too can be nice.
General notes about this very interesting place hereafter.


Kyaiktiyo Pagoda also known as Golden Rock is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, near Kyaikto, 210 km from Myanmar capital Yangon. It is a small pagoda (7.3 metres (24 ft)) built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda
The legend associated with the pagoda is that the Buddha, on one of his many visits, gave a strand of his hair to a hermit. The hermit, in turn gave the strand to the king, with the wish that the hair be enshrined in a boulder. They found the rock at the bottom of the sea. With some supernatural help the rock was placed on the hill and a pagoda was built on top where the strand was enshrined. It is this strand of hair that, according to the legend, prevents the rock from tumbling down the hill. Legends also mention that pilgrims undertaking the pilgrimage by trekking from the Kinpun base camp three times consecutively in a year will be blessed with wealth and recognition.[8]
The Kinpun village at the base of Mt. Kyaiktiyois is 16 km (10 mi) from the top. There is vehicular trafficif in open wagons to the Yatetaung location, 1,2 km from the rock. From there you have to hike or use the services of the local people. They made a business out of carrying older or disabled people on stretchers to the top. These last 1,2 km are not easy. The road is steep and it takes about one hour to reach the rock.
At the peak of the pilgrimage season, during November to March, an atmosphere of devotion is witnessed at Kyaikhtiyo pagoda. As the golden rock gleams in different shades from dawn to dusk (the sight at dawn and at sunset are unique), pilgrims' chants reverberate in the precincts of the shrine. Lighting of candles, meditation and offerings to the Buddha continues throughout the night. Men cross over a bridge across an abyss to affix golden leaves (square in shape) on the face of the Golden Rock, in deep veneration. However, women are not allowed to touch the rock. The Full Moon day of Tabaung in March, is a special occasion for pilgrims who visit the shrine. On this day, the platform of the pagoda is lighted with ninety thousand candles as reverential offering to the Lord Buddha.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: tony ossenblok (oss) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 53 W: 1 N: 59] (425)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2013-07-31
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Exposure: f/4.5, 1/400 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-10-19 11:05
Viewed: 434
Points: 4
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