Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

SULE PAGODA

The Sule Pagoda is a religious and political landmark in downtown Yangon, Myanmar

To read about my visit to Sule Pagoda, visit the blog here: Sule Pagoda & Maha Bandula Garden

For all my High-Resolution images of the Sule Pagoda: Click Here

Entrance Fee: Free for locals and foreigners

Visiting Hours: The pagoda opens daily from around 8:00am until around 6:00pm

Location: The Sule Pagoda is located in the center of downtown Yangon; make it a day trip and visit the Mahabandoola Garden and Monument

 

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The 2,500-year old Sule Pagoda has long been a focal point for Burmese politics and social events. The tall golden spire stands out among all the modern development of downtown Yangon and was the rallying point during the 1988 uprisings and the 2007 Saffron Revolution. According to legend, it was built before the Shwedagon Pagoda during the time of the Buddha, making it more than 2,500 years old! Burmese legend states that the site for the Shwedagon Pagoda was asked to be revealed from an old nat (spirit) who resided at the place where the Sule Pagoda now stands.

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Listed on the Yangon City Heritage List, the Sule Pagoda incorporates the original Indian structure of the stupa, which initially was used to replicate the form and function of a relic mound. As Burmese culture became more independent of its South Indian influences, local architectural forms began to change the shape of the pagoda. It is believed to enshrine a strand of hair of the Buddha that the Buddha himself is said to have given to the two Burmese merchant brothers, Tapissa and Balika. The dome structure, topped with a golden spire, extends into the skyline, marking the cityscape.

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

It is a Mon-style chedi (pagoda), octagonal in shape, with each side measuring 24 feet long. The pagoda stands 144 feet 9 l/2 inches tall. Except for the chedi itself, it was enlarged to its present size by Queen Shin Sawbu (1453–1472). Nowadays, nothing at the pagoda is more than a little over a century old. Around the chedi are ten bronze bells of various sizes, minor stupas, Buddha statues and shrines. There are four entrances with bridges over the surrounding streets, street vendors selling everything from pigeon feed (feed a pigeon corn for merit!) to reading your fortune.

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Various explanations have been put forward for the name “Sule” each of varying degrees of trustworthiness. According to one legend it was originally called su-way, meaning “gather around”, when Okkapala and the divine beings inquired about the location of Singattura Hill and the pagoda was then built to commemorate the event. Another legend connects it Su-Le, meaning wild brambles, with which it was supposedly overgrown. A non-legendary suggestion links it to the Pali words cula, meaning “small” and ceti, “pagoda”.

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The Sule Pagoda was made the center of Yangon by Lt. Alexander Fraser of the Bengal Engineers, who created the present street layout of Yangon soon after the British occupation in the middle of the 19th century. Lt. Fraser also lent his name to Fraser Street, now Anawrattha Street, and still one of the main thoroughfares of Yangon. During the 8888 Uprising, the pagoda was an organizing point and destination selected on the basis of its location and symbolic meaning. In 2007, during the Saffron Revolution, the Sule Pagoda was again utilized as a rallying point for the pro-democracy demonstrations. Many thousands of monks gathered to pray around the pagoda. Sadly, in both 1988 and 2007, the Sule Pagoda became the first place to witness the brutal reaction by the Burmese government against the protesters.

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

To read about my visit to Sule Pagoda, visit the blog here: Sule Pagoda & Maha Bandula Garden

For all my High-Resolution images of the Sule Pagoda: Click Here

Resources:

Sule Pagoda Wiki

Myanmar Travel Essentials

Phillip Harbor

Author, blogger, photographer, all-around world traveler

LEAVE A COMMENT

Israeli Abroad

IsraeliAbroad (formerly SidepieceDiplomat) was started as a passion project by amateur photographer Phillip Harbor as he travels from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Yangon, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and throughout the world. Named for the adventure, the photoblog seeks to give followers a unique insight into life from a nation that was until recently closed off from the rest of the world for more than half a century. This blog is half photo-half information-half experience-driven. Yes that’s more than a whole… and yes that makes about as much sense as anything else you can find on this half of the globe! Feel free to follow us on social media and right here on the blog as we explore the incredible wonders of Myanmar. Updates will come as regularly as possible and don’t forget to share with your friends!

Contact Us

IsraeliAbroadBlog (at) gmail (dot) com

Subscribe to Israeli Abroad!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Wiloke

IsraeliAbroad was started as a passion project by photographer Phillip Harbor as he travels from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Yangon, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and throughout the world. Named for the adventure, the photoblog seeks to give followers a unique insight into life from a nation that was until recently closed off from the rest of the world for more than half a century. This blog is half photo-half information-half experience-driven. Yes that’s more than a whole… and yes that makes about as much sense as anything else you can find on this half of the globe! Feel free to follow us on social media and right here on the blog as we explore the incredible wonders of Myanmar. Updates will come as regularly as possible and don’t forget to share with your friends!