Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Myanmar discovery circuit - Day 1 (morning) - Yangon, the Kyauk Htat Gyi Pagoda and the reclining Buddha - The 12th of November 2015

We drove through the dense Rangoon traffic towards the Kyaut Htat Gyi Pagoda, which we were told by our guide Chocho  not to be a pagoda in the real traditional sense and more of  a "tazaung" (pavilion) housing a 70 metre reclining Buddha said to be highly venerated.

As we walked into the pagoda enclosure in which around 600 monks devoted to the study of sacred Buddhist manuscripts live I wasn't expecting to be so impressed by the majestic sculpture and particularly the facial expression of the Buddha representation. His expressive eyes are said to have been made with glass especially imported from Japan, but I believe it was more than a mere artistic approach that led me to photograph it the number of times I did.

We were then introduced to some aspects of the Burmese Buddhism, the various representations of Buddha in regards to his postures, as well as a rather thorough explanation as to the positions of the hands ("mudras") and their meanings, together with the devotional ceremonies and offerings. Despite being too much information for any of us to absorb in such a short period of time, it somehow provided us with a first approach to the religion of the country.

The Buddha's footprint displayed the description of his lives, whose explanation we could read on a panel close by, as we attentively listened to our guide's explanations.

(To be continued)

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