Monday, April 27, 2009

Myanmar: Stopping over at Botataung

botataung worshipperNear the Yangon River lies one of Myanmar's most well-known pagodas -- Botataung. Originally built some 2,500 years ago, around the same time as Shwedagon, it is home to a sacred relic, the hair of the Gautama Buddha. We dropped by as the morning was giving way to noon and the streets leading to the pagoda were filled with a steady stream of worshippers coming and going.botataung monk and lady worshipperBotataung is Burmese for "1,000 military soldiers" since according to wikipedia, Burmese tradition had it that on this site, a thousand military officers of the king stood as guards of honor to welcome the landing of the relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2,000 years ago. The original pagoda was destroyed in World War II. The rebuilt stupa is hollow inside, lined with glass to display relics which were found sealed inside the earlier pagoda.botataung bathing the buddhaInfo: entrance fee - $2.00 or around 3,000kyats • the locals are very particular when accepting dollar payments and this temple's guards are no different; any stain or wrinkle on the note may mean rejection.
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