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Shwedagon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, the holiest stupa in the land. With its hundreds of small temples and prayer niches and people from all over the country coming to pay their respects, wander around the Shwedagon is an unforgettable experience.

The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a 98-metre gilded stupa which lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, thus dominating the skyline of the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese, with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within, most importantly, the eight hairs of the historical Buddha, the prince Siddhartha Gautama.

According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda is 2,500 years old. Archaeologists believe the stupa was actually built sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries by the Mon, but this is a very controversial issue because according to the records by Buddhist monks it was built before Lord Buddha died in 486 BC.

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