According to local chronologies dating from the14th century CE, the Shwedagon is believed to enshrine the bodily relics of the historical Buddha, Gautama, as well as artifactual relics purported by long tradition to be associated with the three other most recent previous Buddhas of our present era (kalpa).The enshrined relics include: eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama Buddha, as well as a piece of the robe believed to have belonged to Kassapa Buddha, a water filter attributed to Konagamana Buddha, and the staff of Kakusandha Buddha.
The stupa’s plinth is made of bricks covered with genuine gold plates and the main stupa itself is entirely covered in gold, adorned with a crowning umbrella encrusted with diamonds and other jewels. Following a tradition began in the 15th century by the Queen Shin Sawbu (BinnyaThau), who donated her weight in gold to the pagoda, Buddhist devotees from all walks of life and all regions of Buddhist Asia, as well as monarchs throughout Burma’s history, have donated gold to the Shwedagon in order to maintain the monument, and in so-doing gain merit in this life and in future lives.
Singuttara Hill | Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
How far back?
2020 | Present