The Botataung Pagoda is a very busy pagoda on the edge of the Yangon River; its popularity is due to the relic which is housed in the pagoda which is believed to be a sacred hair of Gautama Buddha. The original pagoda was destroyed in WWII, then rebuilt to its current building. Botataung means 1,000 military leaders. The pagoda was named this because a ‘guard of honor’ made up of 1,000 military leaders was formed in Yangon to welcome and pay respect to the 8 Buddha hair relics that traveled from India 2,000 years ago.
We were at the pagoda complex in the middle of the day so the ground was quite hot. If you walk on the green rug, the ground isn’t too hot if you keep your feet moving.
I have never been inside a pagoda so it was quite neat to go inside this one. The interior was quite unique because it seems like you are making a clockwise, zig zag inside the pagoda; I was surprised when I came out where I started because my brain hadn’t registered that I had walked a full circle.
The photo to the right is a close up of where the capsule, housing the hair of Buddha, is exhibited; it also represents the center of the pagoda. In the photo on the left, you can see the plaque above the doorway to the relic. The plaque reads, “Sacred hair relic of the Buddha enshrined and exhibited in an ivory shrine studded and decorated with gold, diamond, and precious jewels.” The doorway is as close as you can get to the relic so it is quite hard to see.
I loved this picture. I thought this monk was perfectly placed with his maroon robe and yellow scarf with this amazing gold backdrop!! There is something lovely about the chanting of a monk as well!! The gold walls were beautifully made; it looked like the walls were made of thin sheets of gold metal with a design that was pounded in to it. There are many of these triangular corners in the pagoda, creating the zigzaginess inside the pagoda that I described earlier. Throughout the pagoda, there are many other display cases that hold other, not so important relics.
The pagoda complex has a few other buildings. The top left picture is of Kate and Reed inside a pavilion on the North side of the pagoda. I am not sure what this room was for. It seemed like an extra room for people to worship.
In the top right photo, Reed is standing in front of the Rohani Bo Bo Gyi who is believed to be the spirit guardian of the pagoda. The Rohani Bo Bo Gyi is in the Nat Pavilion on the South side of the pagoda.
The bottom picture shows Will hitting the Pagoda’s bell three times.
When you walk to the Nat Pavilion, you will see the Turtle pond from the windows. There are so many turtles in the pond. My kids LOVED watching all the turtles on each side of the pond. The pond was kind of like the reward for the kids after being good in the rest of the pagoda’s complex. The turtles were very fun to watch.
I would recommend going to this pagoda particularly because you have the opportunity to go inside the unique pagoda. If you come here, you should also take the opportunity to walk over to the river. There was a small fish market nearby and it was interesting to see the boats cruise the river and dock.