|The main attraction of Yangon, Myanmar's largest and most populous city, is the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda which, with its 100-meter high golden stupa, is visible from all corners of the city.|
|Pictures of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangoon. The whole complex of Shwedagon Paya is like a small city hosting dozens of mini-pagodas, temples and Buddha statues. It is believed that this pagoda in Yangoon dates back to 5th century AD although, according to archaeologists, the central stupa probably does not have more than 1000 years. Damaged by a series of earthquakes, the Shwedagon Pagoda has undergone several restorations over the centuries, even in very recent times, finally coming to us in excellent conditions for what is probably the most beautiful pagoda of Burma. A trip to Myanmar and a tour in Yangoon are not complete without visiting this fascinating place.|
|People coming to Shwedagon Paya walk barefoot around the statues surrounding the central stupa. In the middle of the day, when it gets really hot and sunny, walking barefoot might not be very pleasant, and sometimes rubber mats are laid out to facilitate pilgrimage.|
|The central stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, is 98 meters high and is almost completely laminated in gold. At the end of the rainy season, when the structure is cleaner and when is easier to work, some maintenance is done, with workers going up on the stupa using bamboo scaffolding.
|Mounted on top of the central stupa, there is the classic umbrella structure, observed in practically all the other temples of Myanmar. In the case of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangoon, this is especially large and elaborate: consisting of a metal core (usually bronze), the entire surface is gold laminated with the technique that we have repeatedly observed, while the whole is studded with precious stones. On top of the structure there is a anemoscope designed to show the direction of the wind, which, if sufficiently strong, causes dozens of bells mounted under the umbrella to ring. But the real surprise is the tip of the umbrella, where there is a real diamond of 76 carats, whose picture is displayed in a small museum within the pagoda itself (pictured above). I can not imagine how long it would last in most western countries, considering the crime rate that we have
|Umbrellas, smaller and less elaborate, towering over the other stupas in the Shwedagon Pagoda (a stupa is a sacred structure that contains a relic representing the Buddhist religion).|
|A small Hindu temple within Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.|
|Pictures of Shwedagon Pagoda. The beautiful statues surrounding the central stupa of the most important pagoda in Yangon and throughout Burma.
|Within Shwedagon Pagoda there are many temples with golden statues of Buddha, where pilgrims gather in prayer.
|A large statue of jade representing Buddha.|
|A pilgrim applies gold leaf to a Buddha statue at one of the many temples within the complex of the Shwedagon Pagoda.
|Pilgrims praying in front of the statues of Buddha in Shwedagon Pagoda .|
|A pilgrim and a monk bathing the statues of Buddha.|
|Paying homage to Buddha, leaving food and drink, as this big bowl of fruit.|
|Some buildings have beautiful wood carvings displaying bright colors.|
|Some pagodas containing statues of reclining Buddha and sitting Buddha.|
|Walking in Shwedagon Pagoda.|
|The tour in Yangoon continues visiting a beautiful statue of reclining Buddha 65 meters long and 16 high, housed in the Chaukhtatgyi pagoda.|
|Photos of Yangoon. Along the shores of the Kandawgyi Lake, in the heart of Yangon, the Karaweik palace is used to host conferences, theater performances and typical Burmese shows.|
|Although Yangoon is a big city, green areas are not missing and inside a park in the downtown there is also an old Fokker 50.|
|More pictures of Yangoon. The colonial center of Yangon has buildings built by the British during colonization.|
|The Maha Bandula Park in downtown Yangoon, is home to an obelisk a symbol of independence (left picture) and in the immediate vicinity, there is Sule Pagoda, the most centrally located stupa throughout the city (right picture).|
|Continuing the tour to Yangoon, I visit the port on the Yangoon River (also known as Rangoon River or Hlaing River), an important communication way for all Myanmar. Here ships coming directly from the ocean (which is a few miles away), arrive with their load of rice which is then transferred onto trucks.|
|On the outskirts of Yangoon, I see a rare albine elephant, considered sacre (but looking at chain's lenght, I wonder if it's really so sacred...)|
° ° °
° ° °
° ° °