Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar • 360° Aerial Panorama
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Myanmar is one of the most mysterious countries in the world. It borders India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Each of these destinations (except, perhaps, for Bangladesh) is full of tourists. But Myanmar remains outside of usual tourist routes. There are no direct flights from Russia, visa to Myanmar is not the easiest one to get, not to mention that it's not really advertised by travel agencies. This is why this amazing destination remains unknown to the world.
To say that one misses a lot by not going there is an understatement (you'll understand why when you see our panoramas). This country with a century-old history has preserved countless of monuments and it is rightfully called the "Golden Country" or "The Land of Golden Pagodas". There are around 2500 pagodas there. In fact, the entire country is one huge archaeological reserve, which preserves heritage of ancient civilizations.
Of course, it's impossible to describe thousands of pagodas and other Myanmar landmarks in just one article and to show all of them in one panorama cycle. So we're planning to tell you only about the most outstanding monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda (stupa).
Stupa is a dome symbolizing Buddha's teachings. Usually stupas serve as Buddhist shrines and repositories of sacred Buddhist texts. Some stupas conceal different vessels with Buddha's pieces of clothing or his hairs. Stupas are topped with spires that look like umbrellas, a symbol of protection from the rays of ignorance. Bells are hanging on the stupas to express the symbol of doing some good things.
The capital of Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon) is known for the most famous stupa in the country, the Shwedagon Pagoda, along with a temple complex around it. These constructions are a couple thousand years older than the city itself. The name comes from «Shwe» (Burmese for "gold") and «Dagon» (previously this settlement was situated where the modern Yangon now exists).
According to the mystical yet forgotten legend, in ancient times this was the place where relics of three predecessors of Buddha were kept: the staff of Kakusandhi, the water filter of Konagamana, and a piece of tunic of Kassapa.
One day unknown brothers took a few hairs of Buddha from India, but during the trip they were attacked and robbed several times. However, they were able to deliver part of the sacred treasure — they brought eight hairs of Buddhism founder to Myanmar.
A grand festivity was held to celebrate this event. Lord Sakka and four spirits descended from heavens to choose a worthy place to store Buddha's hairs. They helped to discover three forgotten sacred places, and, as a result, it was decided to keep all sacred objects together with proper honors.
Thus, Shwedagon is the only temple in the world which holds four Buddhist relics of such high value. Furthermore, it's one of the few structures created during the life of Buddha.
It was built with great care and thoroughness by ancient Burmese. They dug a hole on a hill near Dagon, built a tomb, and covered it with a golden plate. Several stupas made from different materials were erected on top of it one by one: golden, silver, tin, copper, lead, marble, iron, and brick.
The Shwedagon Pagoda reached its current height only in 1774. After being rebuilt several times by King Hsinbyushin, it reached the height of 99 meters above the plate. At the same time the Shwedagon Pagoda started looking the way it looks now.
All sixty-eight surrounding stupas are gilded, while the Shwedagon itself is sheathed with golden plates from top to bottom. 8000 gold plates, 5000 diamonds, 2000 gem stones and semiprecious stones were used to decorate the main pagoda.
So it's not surprising that the stupa was repeatedly plundered over the years, and some parts, like three hundred years old bell encrusted with jewels, are now lost. However, the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar has survived to see our days in its full glory.
There are bells hanging along the perimeter of the temple complex with wooden mallets lying nearby. It is believed that if you make a wish and hit the bell three times it will come true. So here and there you can always hear a bell's ringing in the distance.
This Myanmar landmark represents this country like the Moscow Kremlin represents Russia, or Mount Fuji represets Japan. The Shwedagon temple complex is one of the largest architectural ensembles not only in Myanmar, but in all of Southeast Asia. You can always see the golden cone of the central stupa dozens of kilometers away from Yangon, both from sea and land.
In order to get to the pagoda you have to climb the highest hill. But modern technologies made this task a lot easier: an escalator can take you to the Scwedagon. And for those of you who are thousands miles away from this amazing monument, there is a perfect opportunity to see it from the height of our panoramas.
12 October 2012
"Shwedagon temple is one of the most sacred and beautiful temple on earth. I'm very proud of Burmese people to make Buddhism flourish both by practicing and by art. I wish to be born here in the future life."
Thongvanh Norinth, USA
"these pictures are awesome"
krystal sedgeman, USA
Kyee tint Maw, USA
"Es magnifico. Es una maravilla.
Pero cuanto dinero gastado.
¿Es una buena inversión o es un derroche?."
San Marcos Fran, Spain
Thank you very much."
myo mya, Myanmar
"Thank you for let the world know, Myanmar Shwedagon!"
Myo Thida Oo, Myanmar
"Ca un vis cu ochii deschişi, oferit lumii de un popor dintr-o ţară cu nume la fel de frumos! Mulţumesc!"
Dan Mihalache, Romania
myo thiha, Myanmar
"i dont coment"
carmen gloria alvarez vazquez, Spain
"It was the most impresssive building I anytimes saw."
Norbert Richter, Germany
"I love myanmar.thank u so much.i neverget my country in my heart."
aungmyomhtike yarthargyi, Myanmar
Kyaw Zin Htike, Myanmar
"Thank you very much for the amazing pictures!"
Hoe Wong, USA
"I am English and Russian speaking Tourist Guide living in Myanmar. I was shocked when I was looking these 360 degree panoramic views of Our Shwedagon Pagoda. I go many times there..but just never have not seen the 3D photo of this kind before ..wonderful..very very wonderful..really..unique one !! I would say..! And Thank you so much for sharing the beauties mentioned above."
KO KO NAING, Myanmar
"Thank you very much for posting this wonderful panorama of the magnificent pagoda in my hometown of Yangon. Although I live in the United States now, I always make it a point to visit the Shwedagon whenever I go back to Myanmar. Thanks again!"
Cho Sett, USA
"ñïàñèáî for excellent web sites. Very professionally done and extremely entertaining. Regards from sunny Tucson, Arizona"
John Tyler, USA
"thanks for inspiration"
Ewa Waldeck-Kurtyka, Poland
"Very fascinating, amazing.
I would like to Burma ever looked."
Pavla Vágnerová, Czech Republic
"I have enjoyed many good projects of your team around many famous places of the world. Please keep up the good work."
Phoon Peng Pooi, Singapore
Varvara, AirPano: Thank you, Phoon! We will. And you come back again :)
"I want to join in Tipitak Chanting programme"
Bijan Hazra, India
ye htet, Russian Federation
"Thanks for your information. "That's great"....."
acharya kushmila, Nepal
"This is the reason I am always proud on my country as Myanmar citizen."
April Nyunt, Myanmar
Varvara, AirPano: You really have a reason to proud Myanmar!
"Thank you very much!"
khaing mon, Myanmar
"It is beautiful and interest."
Vladimir Rychnovsky, Czech Republic
"Thank you. Beautiful! Love and light, Stef"
Stephanie Brent, Spain
kyaw ko ko, Myanmar
"Thank you guys so much for taking so much beautiful pictures, I hope one day you can visit China and take some pictures like this."
Shannon Tu, China
"Thank you so much for sharing these and taking the photo like that I have never seen before. I am proud of that "I am from Myanmar"."
Dr. Khin Myat Nwe ..., Myanmar
Varvara, AirPano: Many thanks to you! You born in interesting country!
"Many thanks for sharing panoramic view of Shwedagon,proud of you !"
Thant Oo, Myanmar
"GOLDEN LAND MYANMAR.........."
thura oo, Myanmar
khine zin, Myanmar
"The Shwedagon Pagoda looks magnificent, great, and beautiful in the middle of Yangon. Thank Ko Kyaing from Hong Kong for sharing the 360 deg. pagoda aerial panorama video. I have never had a chance to view the Shwedagon Pagoda from air when I lived in Burma."
John (Wai Myint) Lee, USA
"Thank you so much for making all the effort and share with the world."
Stephen Zhou, Taiwan Region
"Fantastic ! by looking at the Shwedagon Pagoda you find Peace and Tranquality - wonderful view from all angles very well done.
Joan Simons, Australia
sithu hein, Singapore
"Sweet work, Dude."
Jeff Crosthwaite, Thailand
"That's amazing your have done picture were people can see they home,and people who wants to vizit Shwedagon Pagoda.Great job!!!I admire you!!"
Alina Nikoleta, Greece
sawthu wai, Myanmar
"Very amazing photos. Many thanks."
Kyaw Htay, New Zealand
Phoe Toke Gyi, Myanmar
"Hi. a best of my friend send it to me on my email this link.i've been to BURMA on 2011 on APRIL. for 3 weeks visit,with my 3 young kids. we went to Shwedagone Pagoda more than 5 times day & night with my family . i haven't been to back home about 10 years so i felt that to see as many time as we can & enjoyable to see all i missed out for so many year, it's so beautiful especially at night i do not want to come back. Now with your effort & brilliant idea to share your gold to see people around the world is as a Burmese people we r really proud off our self that we had Treasure in our country. Thank u so much for sharing to see all yr hard work & who live in over see like us we r still can see the view off our mother nature land."
KIKI WIN, Australia
"A nice combination of architectural mastery of our forefathers and artistic skill of the photographer! Appreciate it. Thanks."
Khin Moe Aye, Myanmar
"Thank you so much for all"
myat pyue, Myanmar
"oh my......the most beautiful thing ive seen.thank you for taking me with you"
christina lemieux, USA
"I am getting home sick after watching. Thank you for sharing. Great job!"
Myo Maung, USA
"Thank you for sharing. Beautiful.No wonder it's also called one of the seven wonders in the world."
Robert Chen, USA
"Fantastic!Thank you for the effort!"
myoe aung, Myanmar
"Hi! Thanks so much for our beautiful HOLY SHWEDAGON PAGODA as you let know our country across the world !"
Wai Oo, Myanmar
"It is a wonderful photography and with beautiful back ground music. We All Burmese people are proud to own one of the most wonders in the world."
Nelson Sao, USA