Discover Reclining Buddha - Yangon
Across the continent of Asia, there are thousands of images of the enlightened in the simplest of homes up to monumental marvels. From bronze or stone statues, to carved stories on ancient walls, Buddhism has become a powerful force over the years that has fascinated both the faithful and the foreign alike; and because of these gorgeous creations, they have become areas of interest for a lot of travelers. In the metropolitan city of Yangon, Myanmar, the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is known for housing a large reclining Buddha statue. Though it does share the same pose as other reclining Buddhas, this one appears to be distinctly Myanmar.
Also known as Chukhtatgyi Paya, this temple, located in the Bahan Township of Yangon, is the most well-known in the region. Of course, it is all thanks to the massive reclining Buddha who greets his visitors in a state of tranquility. Historically, this image was completed in the year 1907, but had an aggressive expression lying on his face. In the 1950s, the old statue was demolished and they began constructing it into what it looks like today.
Travelers will feel at ease once they set their gazes at the Buddha’s calm face. With his milky white skin, rose red lips, and golden robe that softly drapes his body, the statue almost appears lifelike. Topped by a crown encrusted with diamonds and precious stones, and with eyes made of large glass, it gives off a regal aura to those who take a step forward. One of the most notable features is located on the soles. His feet are intricately covered with 108 lakshanas each representing the noble characteristics of Buddha. Filled with the aroma of incense and the sounds of praying devotees, the Chaukhtatgyi Paya is definitely a place of worship and tranquility.
If you are coming from the Yangon International Airport, Trip Guru recommends that you take a private car for a fast and easy ride. Drive along Radio Station Road and after 2.7km take Swae Taw Street to Kabar Aye Pagoda Road. After 2.6km, turn left onto Kabar Aye Pagoda Road and continue on to Mahasi Thathana Yeiktha Street. It is open from 6AM to 8PM and the entrance is free of charge.
What our experts tell about this experience.
I’m not typically impressed with monolithic structures, but this Buddha sculpture was really a whole different experience. I was not sure what I was expecting when I got there, but something in his eye told me that I was at peace. Good thing they changed the expression on his face. Otherwise, I would’ve thought I was not welcomed.