The Maha Wizaya Pagoda is an incredible Buddhist site with a troubled history

Myanmar’s largest city of Yangon contains numerous pagodas and the Maha Wizaya Pagoda (Maha Wizara Pyay) is a grand stupa with a hollow interior for a truly unique experience.

To read about my visit to Maha Wizaya Pagoda, visit the blog here: Magical Maha Wizaya Pagoda

For all the high-resolution photos from Maha Wizaya Pagoda: Click Here

Entrance Fee: Free for locals and foreigners; an entrance fee of 200 kyat (about 15 cents USD) is sometimes required

Visiting Hours: The pagoda opens daily from around 4:00am until around 10:00pm daily

Location: The Maha Wizaya Pagoda is located just south of the Shwedagon Pagoda on Shwedagon Pagoda Road in Dagon Township, Yangon.

Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and former capital, features some of the grandest and most incredible Buddhist religious sites in the world. The scale and scope of some of these projects are stunning and weeks can be spent trying to take them all in.

The Maha Wizaya Pagoda is a must-see while in Yangon as it not only has a history reflective of the country’s troubled past but stands as a testament to its infamous former leader and is steeped in religious meaning along with frescos adorning its ceilings like something you’d see in a famous cathedral in Italy.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

The pagoda was built in 1980 to serve two purposes. Firstly, is commemorates the convening of the “First Congregation of All Orders for the Purification, Perpetuation and Propagation of Sasana.” This meeting unified Burmese Theravada Buddhism and formed the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, a governmental regulatory body of Buddhist monks.


The second purpose (and perhaps primary purpose) of the Maha Wizaya Pagoda was to carry on the tradition of Burmese leaders building monuments to themselves to mark their rule (and is seen as an act of merit). General Ne Win was a dictator who assumed power in a coup d’état in 1962 and led Southeast Asia’s second-largest country for 26 years. During this period of harsh rule, many in the country suffered from oppression from the military junta and worse, however I’ll spare the details here. The pagoda became known locally as “Ne Win’s Pagoda” and was sparsely visited.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

Times are changing in Myanmar and the Maha Wizaya Pagoda has been well-kept leading to devout Buddhists to slowly make their return to the pagoda. Located on Dhammarakhita Hill (Guardian of the Law), the showpiece of the pagoda is at its center as relics contributed by the King of Nepal are enshrined within. The center of the pagoda features many Buddha Images of gold and jade along with a large mural on the ceiling and the walls are adorned with replica trees from around the country with leaves covering the entrances giving the feel of actually being in the jungle.

An outer corridor contains glass housing which you can find Buddha Images in all shapes and styles from all around the country’s states and regions. Paintings of famous religious sites dress the walls making the pagoda feel like a testament to the country as a whole. Each entryway contains beautiful frescos of different stages of the Buddha’s life.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

To read about my visit to Maha Wizaya Pagoda, visit the blog here: Magical Maha Wizaya Pagoda

For all the high-resolution photos from Maha Wizaya Pagoda: Click Here


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Golden Place Myanmar

Renown Travel

Maha Wizaya Wiki