Saturday, January 26, 2019

Shwedagon Pagoda

When we arrived in the late afternoon at the UNESCO Heritage Site, it was consistently crowded and full of lives. I really enjoyed sketching Shwedagon Pagoda although it was still under renovation with all the scaffolding. But I exercised my artistic licence and ignored the scaffolding with very quick lines and washes in the short 5 to 10 minutes while students were watching behind me saying all the nice things that gave me that adrenaline rush to sketch faster.

Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama obtained by the two merchant. They returned to Okkalapa land to be greeted by the King. From 588 BC to 14 century, the Shwedagon was maintained by 32 kings of Okkalapa dynasty and since 1372 AD by Kings Banya U, Bayayan, Bayagyadaw and others. In 1453 AD, Queen Shin Saw Pu had the pagoda raised to the present height of 99.36 metres or 326 feet.