Did you know that Myanmar is one of the most Buddhist countries in the world with an astounding 89% of the population following the teachings of Lord Buddha through Theravada Buddhism? So let's kick off my journey around Yangon at The Shwedagon Pagoda. It's the most prominent Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The first Buddhist shrine was placed here all the way back in 588 BC. The golden pagoda is 326 tall! The massive zedi is covered in gold leaf and features a 22-inch 1,800-carat diamond orb at its peak made of 4,351 diamonds. All of this glory was raised here over a sacred spot that is believed to enshrine eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha.
There are over 100 pagodas, 4,000 images of Buddha, shrine rooms, pavilions at this giant pagoda. I visited the Kawnagammana Buddha image located in a cave in the southern prayer hall that’s cast in gold, silver, copper, iron, and lead. I stopped by the Chan-Thar-Gyi Buddha in the northwest of the pagoda to see the largest Buddha at Shwedagon Pagoda and make a wish.
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