Photographs (by George P. Landow) You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on images to enlarge them.

Like most large pagodas, the Schwedagon complex has four main entrances, one at each of the points of the compass. In addition, it has two recently added elevators — one for locals and another for foreigners — to bring one up the five stories. The main spire of the pagoda, with its ornate "umbrella" finial--it is tipped with a 76-karat diamond...

Left: These temple-like structures, here seen near sunset from the covered walkway to the pagoda, house the northern stairway. Right: A view of the spire after the sun came out from behind the clouds. The first view of the main complex as one steps out of the left onto the platform where all the stupas and the main pagoda rest. Turning the corner, one catches sight of the main pagoda, the main spire of which, with its ornate "umbrella" finial-- is tipped with a 76-karat diamond...

Left: The pagoda has paintings inside and out (not shown here) of the adjacent shrine (two center photos) that tell the story of the mara's attempt (sort of like the temptation of Christ) to distract Buddha, who by touching the ground with his right hand caused one of the gods to rise from the earth and wring out his hair, thereby creating a flood that carried away the bad guys. Right: one of the white painted stupas.

Left two: More views of the many shrines on the platform, the biggest one being Shwedagon (pronounced, by the way, like "way-to-go," with a "Shw-" at the beginning). Right: our guide, with his back to us) pointing out some other shrines of interest. The marble-tile flooring throughout was just completed a short time ago.


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Entered the Victorian Web 17 April 2001. Last modified 8 August 2012