The Botataung Pagoda


The Botataung Pagoda also spelled Botahtaung; literally "1000 military officers") is a famous pagoda located in downtown Yangon, Myanmar, near the Yangon river. The pagoda was first built by the Mon around the same time as was Shwedagon Pagoda—according to local belief, over 2500 years ago, and was known as Kyaik-de-att in Mon language. The pagoda is hollow within, and houses what is believed to be a sacred hair of Gautama Buddha.The Botataung Pagoda was completely destroyed during World War II, and was rebuilt after the war.

History 

According to Burmese tradition, it was on a hillock at this site that one thousand military officers of the king were drawn up as a guard of honor to welcome the landing in Burma of the relics of the Buddha brought over from India more than two thousand years ago. An account from ancient histories of the building of the Pagoda states that the Buddhist king Sihadipa gave one of his ministers a sacred hair from the Buddha's head and two body relics and this minister, renowned for his goodness and faith, consulted a famous religious leader and, on his advice, chose the Botataung Mount on the bank of Yangon River at a distance one thousand tars (7,000 cubits) in a South-Easterly direction from the Shwedagon Pagoda and there enshrined the sacred relics.
Name of the Botataung Pagoda
Botataung means 1,000 military leaders. This name was derived from an event that took place more than 2,000 years ago when eight hair relics from the Buddha were brought over to Yangon from India.

When the relics arrived, a guard of honour of 1,000 military leaders was formed to pay respect to the relics. The eight hair relics were enshrined in the pagoda, later to be distributed to other pagodas, with only one remaining in the Botataung Pagoda.

Name of the Botataung Pagoda

Botataung means 1,000 military leaders. This name was derived from an event that took place more than 2,000 years ago when eight hair relics from the Buddha were brought over to Yangon from India.

When the relics arrived, a guard of honour of 1,000 military leaders was formed to pay respect to the relics. The eight hair relics were enshrined in the pagoda, later to be distributed to other pagodas, with only one remaining in the Botataung Pagoda.

Discovery of the ancient relic chamber

In 1943 the Botataung Pagoda was mostly destroyed by air force bombings. During the rebuilding that started in 1948 a relic chamber was discovered. Inside the chamber was a stone casket encircled by Nat (spirit) figures standing guard. When the casket was opened, a wealth of ancient artifacts was found within it, including images of gold and silver, precious stones and plaques with Buddhist depictions. On the back of one of the plaques depicting the Buddha is a text inscribed in Mon language.

A miniature pagoda made of pure gold was found within a second casket. Under the gold pagoda was a very small cylindrical shaped gold object that contained one hair and two tiny body relics, believed to be from the Buddha.

Tours

9
Day
9 Days Highlight of Myanmar tour
Burma is the largest country in mainland SE Asia, its roads are poor and the government prohibits driving in many areas, so internal flights are necessary to make any headway on th...
Price USD $979