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Kyaik Pun Pagoda
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Good Time To Visit: The Whole Year
Visited: 1157 Time

      The Kyaik Pun Pagoda is a small Buddhist monastery near the town of Bago, known for its four towering images of the Buddha visible from far away. The impressive 27 meter high images are out in the open, without shelter from the elements by any covering temple structure. The Kyaik Pun Pagoda was built in 1476 by Dhammazedi, a devout Buddhist and King of the Mon Kingdom of Hanthawaddy (Pegu). The Kyaik Pun Pagoda or Kyaikpun Paya is an active place of worship; the images are highly revered by Laotian Buddhists who come to pay their respect.

Depictions of the four Buddha’s that have reached Nirvana

      The images represent the four Buddha’s that have reached Nirvana, namely Kassapa Buddha, Kakusandha Buddha, Konagamana Buddha and Gautama Buddha. They sit back to back facing the four cardinal directions against a massive brick square central post on top of which is a golden spire with a multi tiered ceremonial umbrella. The four seated Buddha’s wear golden robes and all have slightly different facial expressions. They are in the Bhumisparsha mudra, calling the Earth to witness. In front of the images is an open pavilion flanked by large chedi’s. A statue of King Dhammazedi honors the builder of the Paya. Other structures on the temple complex include several pavilions and small shrines, a large bell and a pole topped with a Hintha bird, the symbol of the town of Bago. A few of the pavilions are dedicated to Nat spirits, that have been worshipped in Burma for many centuries, probably before the arrival of Buddhism. Between the parking lot and the temple are handicrafts stalls offering their wares.

The legend of the Kyaik Pun Pagoda

      According to local legend four Mon sisters were involved in the building of the Kyaik Pun Paya. Among them they pledged never to get married as long as they lived. If one of them was to get married, one of the Buddha statues would collapse. According to the legend one of the women broke her promise and got married, resulting in the collapse of one of the images, the Kassapa Buddha.

How to get to Kyaik Pun Pagoda

      The monastery is located a few kilometers South of downtown Bago, a few hundred meters West of the main road connecting Bago with Yangon (NH1 National Highway 1). The most comfortable way to get there is by private taxi that can be booked through hotel or travel agent. Alternatively, a trishaw from downtown should cost around 1,500 to 2,000 Kyat including waiting time. Hiring one for the day at around 6,000 Kyat enables you to see a number of other sites as well.

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