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Home >> Myanmar >> Bagan >> Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Location: Nyaung-U Town, Bagan.
Ticket: covered in the through ticket of Bagan Pass which charges US$15.

Shwezigon Paya is an ancient pagoda with a long standing reputation in Myanmar; it is the first Buddhism pagoda built in Bagan. Construction started by King Anawratha, the founder of the Bagan Kingdom (1044-1285) and reined the country from 1044 to 1077, the paya was eventually finished in 1087 by his son King Kyanzittha. Shwezigon is not only the largest and oldest Buddhism pagoda in Bagan, but also the ancestor of modern Myanmar pagodas. Shwezigon, one of the Four Famous Pagodas in Myanmar, is the pagoda worshiped most in Bagan. Though repaired for several times, it still keeps intact. The pagoda is said to have enshrined a tooth from 12th century’s Ceylon King, a jade Buddha from China and the frontlet of the Buddha.

Shwezigon Paya is a quartet symmetric structure with a bell-shaped huge golden pagoda standing in the center and basing on an octagon platform which is based on a 3-storey square platform. This kind of structure later widely applied in most Bagan pagodas. Around the pagoda is an open-air walkway, numerous small stupas and pavilions, while around the walkway are monastery halls. The entire Shwezigon Paya is equipped with four gates, connecting with each other by an over 100-meter-long corridor.

Being the farthest pagoda from the old town of Bagan, Shwezigon is also the most spectacular standing 40 meters high and surrounded by 53 large sculptures, including the shapes of lion, Makara and toad. A square temple with a 4-meter-high standing bronze Buddha is built respectively in the four directions of the pagoda. The King Kyanzittha also had two large inscribed stone tablets erect on both sides of the entrance of the paya. On the square bricks of the corridor among platforms are 1000 pieces of basso-relievo. It is said that to paste a gold leaf on the basso-relievo can be blessed by the Buddha.   

Shwezigon Paya is a typical example of early Bagan pagoda with towering top, abundant decorations, surrounded by numerous stupas and pavilions.

Every morning, pilgrims get together here, and their devout worship facial features are quite impressive to tourists. 

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