Sule Pagoda, Yangon

  • Location: In Yangon
  • Status: a political and religious focal point
  • Completed: approximately 2500 years ago
  • Admission Fees: US$2per person


Located in the center of Yangon, on a roundabout in downtown Yangon, Sule Pagoda is an excellent landmark, which is reachable through four entrances of the four stairways facing four cardinal directions or by two overhead bridges. The pagoda has a history of over 2500 years, even older than Shwedagon Pagoda. The Mon name for this pagoda is Kyaik Athok, which means “the temple where a sacred hair relic is enshrined” and it is said to contain a hair given by the Buddha to two Burmese merchants. It says that Sule Pagoda marks the site where King Ukkalapa held meetings to build Shwedagon. Therefore, “Su-Wei” is a Myanmar word which means “meeting”. In course of time “Su-wei” corrupted to “Su-le”.

Structured with a typical dome-shaped stupa, which can be found in the neighboring countries of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, the pagoda stands at over 150ft tall. The main pagoda with an inquisitive octagonal bell shape is bounded by minor stupas, bronze bells, and shrines containing Buddha images. Sule Pagoda contains totally eight Buddha images representing each day of the week, in which Wednesday represents two days. It is because to accommodate for the extra day, the ancient Myanmar monks split Wednesday in half, making two days: Wednesday morning (12:01 A.M to 12:00 P.M) and Wednesday afternoon (12:01 P.M to 12:00 A.M).

Wandering along the circular path, you can find the shrines up close and stop to pay homage to your birthday Buddha (of the week on which you were born). You can buy from the shops nearby offerings such as flowers, fruits and gold leaves.

Surrounding area of Sule pagoda draws the attention of travelers with the sight of deed performing for religious merit, the lofty Independence Pillar in the Maha Bandoola Park, the Immanuel Church, the imposing City Hall of Myanmar architectural design, the High Court Buildings of colonial style and major thoroughfares from different directions making a circuit around Sule Pagoda hillock. Sule Pagoda is a good choice to enjoy the cityscape and watch city life.

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