Saturday, August 09, 2008

Religion in Myanmar – Through Photos

See also Transportation in Myanmar – Through Photos
Majority of people in Myanmar (Burma) are Buddhists (about 97%) and hence Myanmar is famous for pagodas (temples) and is called the Land of Pagodas. My father during his visit to Myanmar was fortunate enough to visit a number of pagodas and take some amazing pictures.

Myanmar is known as The Golden Land because of its golden temples (Pagodas) all over. There are hundreds and thousands of pagodas all over Myanmar. The income for the pagodas is through voluntary donations. People contribute a lot and the government also encourages any form of pagoda development. People can construct pagodas anywhere they like with out permission because it is considered as a national need. If one travels through Myanmar the most striking feature is the pagodas constructed especially in hills and mountains.

Below is the world’s largest reclining statue of Buddha at Mudon. It is about 170 meters long. You can notice renovation going on in this photo and it is apparently pasting gold on the face of Lord Buddha.

Below you can see the entrance to this reclining statue. See how beautiful the architecture is.

On the entrance to the reclining statue you could see statue of Win Sein Taw Ya - a famous Buddhist monk- whom people worship now. There are many other statues of Buddha on the entrance to the reclining statue of Budha like this one. The walkway to the reclining statue is called Monks Avenue and here is the picture of that. Don’t think that it is the only reclining statue of Lord Buddha. Here is another photo of reclining Buddha at Myeik. This statue is in an island and this photo was taken from the mainland. If you watch closely this photo you could see pagodas on top of the hill. My father was fortunate enough to visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the world’s largest pagoda. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, thus dominating the skyline of Yangon city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within, namely the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Konagamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight hairs of Gautama, the historical Buddha. Here are some of the photos my father took in this pagoda. This pagoda was in the limelight during the September 2007 demonstrations against the military junta.

See the aerial view of this pagoda. It is like an inverted dome with lot of bells studded with world famous diamonds. It is about 200 ft in height, situated on a hill top, in the centre of downtown Yangon. There was lot of damage for most of the nearby structures during the cyclone Nargis, except this pagoda.
Here is few other photos of this beautiful monument. My father visited some other pagodas also. See one of them. The beauty of this construction just amazes me.
See a Buddha idol in one of the pagoda’s made of pure gold.
In pagodas one could find various postures of Lord Buddha and here is one of them.
See one pagoda at the Southern most tip of Myanmar. Here is a typical photo of a female Buddhist monk. Here is an entrance to a typical monastery where all these monks live. Monks lead a very simple life in a hut with just basic facilities like this one.
Don’t think that in Myanmar you find only Buddhists. Myanmar has 1% each of Hindus, Christians and Muslims. You could find Hindu temple like this one below. This is the Hindu temple in on top of Naga Mount. Churches and mosques too…
Will be back soon with more photos from Myanamar…

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Blogger karmanna said...

wow!! otherside of burma... culturally rich burma..
ur pics and description made me to read burmese history in detail...

August 10, 2008 5:49 AM  
Blogger Vellayani Vijayan/വെള്ളായണിവിജയന്‍ said...

നന്നായിരിക്കുന്നു.ബര്‍മ്മയുടെ ഹൃദയത്തിലൂടെ ഊളിയിട്ട പ്രതീതി.നന്ദി ബ്രിജേഷ്.നന്ദി.

August 11, 2008 1:33 AM  
OpenID maduraiveeran said...

Very nice photos

August 12, 2008 6:17 PM  

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