High on a hill in Yangon sits the Shwedagon Pagoda - an incredible complex including a structure that houses strands of the Buddha's hair, as well as a number of other holy relics. The pagoda stretches 110 metres into the sky and features shimmering stupas, temples and statues, with its origins dating back 2,500 years.
The main stupa is encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, meaning it glints spectacularly in the sun. The largest of these is a 72 carat diamond. Every year, the stupa's great bell is regilded in gold leaf. Swedagon Pagoda can be seen from just about anywhere in the city, so visitors get a view of it from a distance before exploring this important religious site up close.
Legend has it that two Burmese merchant brothers met the Buddha in person and were gifted eight of his hairs to be enshrined in Myanmar. They were advised by nats or spirits, as well as the king on where to house the relics and Singuttara Hill was chosen.
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