Sule Pagoda is located in the center of Yangon. at the junction of Sule Pagoda Road and Mahabandoola Road. Kyauktada Township. Yangon. Myanmar. This 48 meter (152 feet) high golden dome was used by the British as the nucleus of their grid pattern for the city when it was rebuilt in the 1880s. The pagoda's peculiarity is its octagonal- shaped pagoda. which retains its shape as it tapers to the spire.
Location of the Sule Pagoda
The Sule Pagoda is located in the heart of Yangon at the meeting point between sule Pagoda road and the Mahabandoola road. In fact the name ‘sule’ comes from the Burmese word ‘suway’ meaning ‘meeting’ which rightly describes its location.
The Sule Pagoda is shaped like a dome and there are smaller stupas, 10 bells made of bronze and 8 Buddha images around it. These eight Buddha images represent the days of the week with one extra image for Wednesday.
The Sule Pagoda is an excellent landmark. It is said to be over 2.000 years old. The pagoda is said to enshrine a hair of the Buddha: its Mon name. Kyaik Athok translates as "the pagoda where a Sacred Hair Relic is enshrined". The golden pagoda is unusual in that its octagonal shape continues right up to the bell and inverted bowl. It is surrounded by small shops and all the familiar non-religious services such as of astrologists. palmists. and so on.
In the downtown area Sule Pagoda is a monument which most foreign visitors pass by unnoticed. But it is the only central piece of the capital. like the Arc de Triumph in Paris
It is the Sule Pagoda. Its legend says that Sule Pagoda marks the site where King Ukkalapa held meetings to build Shwedagon. "Su-Wei" is a Myanmar word meaning "meeting". In course of time 'Su-Wei' corrupted to 'Su-Le' Successive town planners. King Thayawaddy. Montgomery. Fraser and others. all decided to keep Sule Pagoda as the centre piece of Yangon because of its strategic location. religious significance and artistic beauty. It can be reached through four entrances of the four stairways facing four cardinal directions or by two overhead bridges.
Octagonal golden pagoda
The Sule’s golden Mon style pagoda measures 44 meters high. Unusual in its design is its octagonal shape, that continues all the way up to the spire. The pagoda is topped with a hti, a multi tiered ornamental element shaped as an umbrella. The Sule Paya is highly revered because it enshrines a hair relic of the Buddha. A steady flow of Burmese devotees make merit and bring offerings.
Other structures on the grounds
Around the pagoda is a circular structure housing small shops where services as astrology and palmistry are offered. Four entrances topped with multi tiered Pyatthat roofs provide access to the Sule grounds. Shrines around the pagoda house images of the Buddha, bronze bells are rung by Buddhist devotees making merit.
Several depictions of a Hintha bird, the symbol of Bago, can be found on the temple grounds. One of the mythological birds with a miniature pagoda on its back sits on top of a pole in a lotus flower, another one with a shrine on its back hangs down from a steel cable. Several images of Nat spirits are found on the Sule grounds. Nat spirits have been worshipped in Burma for centuries, the most important ones live on Mount Popa.
How to get to the Sule Pagoda
The pagoda is located in the center of Yangon about halfway between the central railway station and the Yangon river. It is found in the center of a roundabout on the junction of Sule road and Maha Bandula road.
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