Shwe San Taw Pagoda, Taungoo

  • Location: In Bagan,Burma
  • Built: In 1057
  • By: King Anawrahta
  • Attractions: Contained terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka; containing hairs of Gautama Buddha

Located in the centre of Taungoo Town, Myanmar, Shwesandaw Paya is one of the grandest pagodas of Taungoo, attracting lots of Buddhist pilgrims as well as travelers around the world every year.

The pagoda was built as a gilded bell shape which is the traditional design of Buddhist architecture in Myanmar. Actually, there are four pagodas in Myanmar with the same name “Shwesandaw”. The Myanmar legend says that The King of ancient Sri Lanka gave to Bayint Naung eight precious hairs of Lord Buddha. After that, Bayint Naung kept four strands. The rest was divided equally among his four brothers- Lord of Martaban, Lord of Pyay, Lord of Taungoo and Lord of Inwa. Min Khaung, the Lord of Taungoo, constructed a stupa named Shwesandaw in 1570 to keep his part. On the west of the stupa, an impressive pavilion is outstanding with a sitting Buddha image which was casted from the silver and bronze. The weight of this statue is equal to the one of the devout civil servant who donated it for Shwesandaw pagoda. After his death, monks have placed his ashes behind the statue to remember the merit. Another pavilion nearby contains a reclining Buddha surrounded by monastic disciples. Along the wall is transparent glass cabinet exhibiting religious artifacts and small statues donated by the Buddhists and the faithful. It is noteworthy that sculptures illustrating the seven Myanmar Taungoo kings along with three small shrines: Sarawati, Shin Upagot and Kuan Yin- a separate temple was established to placate the Chinese.

With distinctive historical value and religious culture Shwesandaw Paya will be the highlight of the Taungoo journey.

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