Attractions in Bagan

Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon Pagoda (Shwezigon Zedi)

Shwezigon Pagoda is located on the west of the Nyaung U Town, near the Old Bagan. It was built by King Anawrahta (1044-77) in 1059 AD. The Pagoda is a prototype of Burmese stupa enshrining a collection of relics including the Buddha’s frontal and collar bones. According to the chronicles King Anawrahta chose the location to build a pagoda by sending a white elephant mounted with tooth relic of the Buddha. The elephant stopped over the dune on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and named the “Shwezigon” means “golden pagoda on the dune”. The pagoda was threatened by earthquake several times, completed by his son King Kyansittha (1084-1113) in 1102 AD.

What to see in Shwezigon Pagoda

Without visiting Shwezigon Pagoda, visiting Bagan is not complete. Shwezigon pagoda is 160 feet in height and the one of the biggest pagodas in Bagan. It’s a prototype of stupas, bell-shaped dome and has three square receding terraces. At each corner of terraces, there is a small stupa and 550 green glazed terracotta tiles depicting the Jataka Stories are decorated at the base of each terraces. The pagoda is completely gilded in gold. There are also other several shrines in the complex and nat shrines. The most interesting shrine is 37 traditional nat shrine at the southeast corner of the Pagoda. There are long stairways at the east and south of the pagoda, and at each entrance of the pagoda, two giant lions are guarding the gate.

Best time to visit Shwezigon Pagoda

The Shwezigon Festival has been helding in November. For those who are interested in Myanmar travel, visiting in November/December will be a great chance to explore the culture of Bagan because of its great religious significance for Burmese Buddhism.

HOW TO GET THERE

  • It’s located about 5 kilometers North East of Old Bagan on the edge of Nyaung U village, close to the Irrawaddy river. Best way to explore Bagan and to get to Shwezigon Pagoda is by electric bike. It’s 5 min drive from Nyaung U Town and 25 min drive from New Bagan