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Photographer's Note

This is my 9th day in Myanmar but I only spent one full day in Yangon. All the other days I have been on board of the drilling platform located in the Bay of Bengal.

However, during that first day in Yangon I had the chance of witnessing a wonderful sunrise by the lake in front of the hotel where I was staying and in the evening I went to visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.

The photo on main post was taken in front of the north gate and the one on WS1 at the base and looking up the golden stupa.

The Shwedagon Pagoda is the greatest pagoda of its kind in the world, comparable in size and grandeur to the Angkor Wt of Cambodia and the Boro Budur of Indonesia. It is believed to have been built nearly 2,600 years ago, during the Buddha’s life time.

According to the legend of the pagoda, in India, Prince Siddhartha had just attained Buddhahood when he was visited by the two brothers Tapussa and Bhallika, merchants from Myanmar who offered a gift of honey cakes. In return, the Buddha personally removed eight hairs from his head and gave these to the two brothers for enshrinement in their native town of Okkalapa which is now the City of Yangon.

On their return, the two brothers presented the Buddha’s hairs to the King of Okkalapa who erected the pagoda and enshrined the eight hairs together with the relics of previous three Buddhas. The original height of the pagoda was 20 meters.

From the 14th century onward successive monarchs in Myanmar rebuilt or regilded it until Shwedagon reached its present height of 99.4 meters. It has ten unique different sections, namely, the base, the three terraces called “Pyisayan”, “Khaung Laung” (because of its bell shape) and “Baung Yit” (with distinct embossed bands), the “Thabeik” (monk’s food bowl), the “Kya-Ian” (an ornamental lotus flower), the “Hngnet Pyaw-Bu”(Banana bud), the “Hti” (umbrella), the “Hngetmana” (the flag shape vane which revolves to the direction of the wind) and the “Seinbu” (Diamond bud). The “Hti” is decorated with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies and the “Seinbu” is tipped with a 76 carat (15 g) diamond.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Ribeiro (ribeiroantonio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4814 W: 466 N: 6476] (22637)
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