golden rock pagoda myanmar

The Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar – A Sacred Pilgrimage Site

The significance and sacredness of the Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar can be witnesses to the fact that every Buddhist has its image on his family hearth or the car’s windscreen, or both, so that he can have the glimpse of this holy place. It is also a dream of every Buddhist to visit this temple and witness the beauty and holiness of this consecrated place. The significance of the Golden Rock Pagoda is so immense that, a visit to this place is one of the recommend things to do in Myanmar.

Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar

Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar, is also known by the name of Mount Kyaiktiyo and is famous for the unique golden rock sitting on it. The Golden Rock Pagoda is one of the three of the most sacred and significant pagodas in Myanmar, the other two are Shwedagon Pagoda and Mahamuni Temple. The main reason for the temple being so famous is that pilgrims from different places come to this temple to add a gold leaf to it. The practice is quite interesting as the rock is placed on a 1100 meter high mountain and is subtly balanced.

Since the Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar is a chief place of worship and pilgrimage for the religious people all over the country as well as the Buddhist people living around the world. November till March is the peak pilgrimage season and therefore, it is the best time of the year to visit the Golden Rock Pagoda, especially if you want to see the pilgrims offering their prayers. During the season, the environment of the pagoda becomes enchanting as the pilgrims chant, light their candles and meditate the entire night. It may seem a bit of unfair, but only men are allowed to walk to the boulder to fix the gold leaf on the surface of the rock. Talking of the boulder, it is a glorious construction and looks even more magical when bathed in the light of dawn and dusk.

Structure of the Golden Rock Pagoda

The pagoda is a huge and wide structure with 18 feet of height and 50 feet in breadth, it is placed on the crest of the rock between Sittaung and Thanlwin. The construction has a unique egg like shape boulder made of granite, the rock rests on the mountain separated by a rift, which now has an iron footbridge while the rock vertically stoops down on the below valley.

Related Article: Top 10 Must-See Places in Myanmar

The Rock’s Measurements

The Golden Rock has the following interesting facts about its measurement and structure:

  • Volume of the Rock: 244.58 M3
  • Density of the Rock: 2.5 Ton/M3
  • Weight of the Rock: 611.5 Tons
  • Height of the Rock: 8.15 m (26ft , 9 in)
  • Kind of the Rock: Granite
  • Contact area: 0.714 sqm (7.69 sq-ft)
  • Volume of the Stupa: 9.26 M3
  • Density of the Stupa: 2.1 Ton/M3
  • Weight of the Stupa: 19.45 Tons
  • Height of the Stupa: 33ft , 2 in
  • Legend of The Rock

Besides being a sacred pilgrimage destination, the Golden Rock Pagoda is famous because of the legend attached to it. As per the legend, the Buddha gave his strand of hair to hermit, Taik Tha, and that hermit went to the king and asked him to enshrine the hair relic in boulder constructed in the shape of the hermit’s head. The king had inherited supernatural powers from his father, Zawgyi, an alchemist, and his mother, a serpent dragon princess. They, along with Thagyamin, the king of Tawadeintha Heaven, found the rock at the sea’s bottom and placed it on the Kyaiktiyo rock.

It is also believed that the ship used to carry the rock is turned into a stone and is worshiped along with the pagoda itself. It has also been converted into a stupa named Kyaukthanban Pagoda meaning ‘stone boat stupa’. According to the legend, it is due to the presence of Buddha’s hair relic is the Golden Rock does not stumble down the valley. Buddhist believe that the pilgrims who visit the pagoda from the Kinpun base camp thrice a year will be exalted with wealth and appreciation.

Golden Rock Pagoda Pilgrimage

The pagoda is the main place of worship for over 2600 years and the people come here from all over the world. Being a sacred place, the devotees, or the pilgrims, have to take off their socks and shoes at the door of the main entrance and walk barefoot. At the entrance gate, the pagoda is guarded by the two large lions, or Chinthes.

The whole place is embellished with devoted pilgrims walking to the Golden Rock Pagoda Myanmar shrine with lighted candles and incensed sticks. The place consists of a number of viewing platforms from where you can view other pagodas, temples having Buddha’s images and a separate shrine for Burmese spirits known as Nats. Besides, you will also find some restaurants and guesthouses.

Golden Rock Pagoda is a great tourist attraction in Myanmar, as it will take you near the significant Buddhist history and culture. Do you know of some other interesting facts about the pagoda? Please comment below and let us know about them.

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