The golden Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.

Visiting Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - with Photos.

Sule Pagoda is an old Buddhist Temple situated in the middle of a busy roundabout right on the edge of Downtown in Central Yangon.

If legend is correct and the temple is more than 2500 years old, then Sule Pagoda - or at least it's Stupa - is older than it's more famous cousin sat a little way away on Singuttara Hill.
The Pagoda is open daily from 0600 to 2000 hours - there is an admission charge of course for foreign tourists which in 2014 was USD3. Visitors to the temple should be aware that reasonable clothing should be worn and of course that shoes and socks have to be removed before entering the area. The surface area surrounding the Stupa is of marble and this gets exceedingly hot during the day - the caretakers are meant to put matting round to walk on though.
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view of the chedi at Sule Pagoda at Yangon in Myanmar Sule Pagoda in the centre of Yangon, Myanmar The Golden Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda chedi, Yangon, Myanmar
Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda shrines and roofs, Yangon, Myanmar The beautiful Sule Pagoda, Downtown Yangon in Myanmar
This must be one of the few Pagodas in the world that occupies such an unusual position - the golden chedi is sat right in the centre of a very busy roundabout and is surrounded by shops, offices, market stalls and hotels. There is a footbridge across to it and nearbye are many government buildings, mosques, churches and Maha Bandoola gardens. The Pagoda is also the point from which all road distances within Myanmar are measured. Don't forget that the correct way to walk round the Chedi is in a clockwise direction.
Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar A Golden Buddha image at Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
View of the inside of Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda Bell, Yangon, Myanmar chedi ornate carvings at Sule Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda beautiful temple carving, Yangon, Myanmar
The original shrine is believed to have been built in 230B.C. by two Buddhist monks named Sona and Uttara in order to house the hair of the Buddha. Over time the shrine has been repaired and rebuilt several times and the current 150 foot high Pagoda is unusual in that it is octagonal shaped right up to it's bell (inverted bowl). The central stupa is called Kyaik Athok which translated from the Mon language is "the stupa where a sacred hair relic is enshrined". Walking around their are several small shrines and Buddha images to look at.
Sule Pagoda carvings, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda chedi, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda shrines, Yangon, Myanmar Sule Pagoda Buddha image, central Yangon, Myanmar

Old colonial buildings such as the City Hall and High Court plus Maha Bandoola (Bandula) Park - adjacent to the Sule Pagoda in Yangon.

Downtown Yangon still has quite a few old colonial buildings here and there, several of which are situated near to Sule Pagoda. One such building is the City Hall which was built in 1924 - it is a mixture of typical British styling with elements of Burmese architecture - particularly the traditional tiered roofs. Also nearby is the red-bricked High Court building which was constructed in 1911, designed by James Ransome it is in the Queen Anne style and also features a beautiful clock tower.

A good idea might be to take a mid afternoon look round the Sule Pagoda and then cross the bridge into Maha Bandoola Park - these smallish gardens are very popular in the later part of the afternoon with locals. Note that in March 2015 the Park had no entry charge however there were two small buildings being constructed by the entrances which looked suspiciously like ticket booths. Therefore it may well be the intention to charge an entry fee to foreign tourists in due course. The gardens are open all day but are closed promptly at 1800 hours.
Yangon High Court building seen from Maha Bandoola Park - Myanmar. Clocktower at the old Yangon High Court in Yangon, Myanmar. View from Maha Bandoola Park of Yangon High Court - Myanmar. Yangon City Hall seen from the gardens - Myanmar.
Trees and some shade plus nice views at Maha Bandoola Park in Yangon, Myanmar. Maha Bandoola Park in Downtown Yangon, Myanmar. View of Sule Pagoda from Maha Bandoola Park, Yangon, Myanmar.
The well grassed Park is watched over by several attendants who make sure there is no mis-behaviour - such as anybody smoking, jumping into the pools or dropping litter. The fountains are pretty good to watch and have a sequence which squirts water quite high up at times.
There is a children's play area within the Park. There are no seats so people sit around either on the grass or on the steps surrounding The Independence Monument - or just simply wander around the well-kept paths. The gardens were originally called Fitch Square after Ralph Fitch who was the first Englishman to visit Burma. The gardens have subsequently been renamed after; Burmese General Maha Bandula of the Royal Burmese Armed Forces. The Independence Monument is 150 feet high and has five smaller pillars attached to it - surrounding the monument there are a series of chinthes.
Our other items about touring and sightseeing at Yangon in Myanmar:
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