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Shwezigon Pagoda (Golden Stupa)

Bagan, Myanmar

Visit the Shwezigon Pagoda (golden stupa). It is one of Myanmar's most venerated since it enshrines a cornucopia of Buddha relics, including the Buddha's frontlet bone obtained by King Anawrahta, his collarbone from Sri Kshetra, and a duplicate of the Tooth of Kandy from Sri Lanka. Anawrahta began construction of this temple to fuse indigenous nat worship with his new-found faith.

The project was finished by subsequent kings after Anawrahta was gored to death by a mad bull in 1077. Shwezigon Pagoda is also the first major monument built in Burmese, rather than the earlier Mon style, and the first pagoda to have nat images allowed within its precincts. The Shwezigon was a prototype for many later Burmese stupas.

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