Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Reclining Buddha in Bago

There are two reclining Buddha in Bago, one indoor and one outdoor. The one indoor is called Shwethalyaung Buddha. Shwethalyaung Buddha is measuring 55 meters long and 16 meters high, slightly shorter by 10 meter compared to the famous Chauk Htat Gyi Buddha, the other reclining Buddha located in Yangon city. In total, I have seen 3 reclining Buddha during my visit to Myanmar.  2 in Bago city and 1 in Yangon city.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Built in the 10th Century

Shwethalyaung Buddha was built by the Mon King Mgadeikpa in the 10th century and only rediscovered until 1881 when the workers unearthed it while building the Yangon Bago railway line.  The Shwethalyaung Buddha was actually partly destroyed in 1757 and was under the cover of jungle growth.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Beautiful mosaic stones was used and added to the pillow on which the Buddha’ head rests.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Temple attire

The temple complex is not big, as usual no shoes, no socks are allowed and no shoulders and knee revealing clothes.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Murals with Story 

There are several murals at the back of the reclining Buddha. These murals depicting stories of how the reclining buddha came to be.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

There are English words printed at the mural so you can take your time and read the story.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Buddha Feet

Another highlight not to be missed is the foot of the Buddha which has intricate print and pattern, painted in gold.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Market Hall

The market souvenir hall is at the entrance way to the Shwethalyaung Buddha, both sides of stalls selling all kind of things, including flowers offering to the Buddha.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

After visiting the Shwethalyaung Buddha you may like to have a look at the souvenirs sold at the market hall. Things sold here are the longyi or sarong (long skirt to wrap around at your waist), Thanaka – the yellowish powder painted in most Burmese faces and many other little trinket.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Entrance fee :

Entrance fee is 10,000 Kyat (USD$10) for 4 historical sites in Bago. Buy Bago archeological zone ticket and visit all the 4 sites located nearby. Shwethalyaung Buddha is one of the site, the staff at the entrance will help you stamp at your ticket before you enter. The other three historical sites are Shwemawdaw Pagoda (Tallest pagoda in Burma), Kyaik Pun Pagoda (Four towering images of the Buddha) & Kanbawzathadi Golden Palace (Reconstruction of King Bayinnaung’s 16th century palace).  This is the 4 must see in Bago.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

Final thoughts :

In total, I have seen three reclining Buddhas in Myanmar, one in Yangon also the biggest and two in Bago; indoor & outdoor. The reclining buddha in Myanmar look different from the one I saw in Dafo temple in Gansu China few months ago. Over here in Myanmar, the face features are sharper with bright lipstick and dark eyebrows color as compared to the Dafo Buddha in Gansu China. Hence the reclining Buddha in Myanmar look younger and modern.

Why there are so many reclining Buddha? It is said that this position represent the historical Buddha during his last illness, about to enter the parinirvana/nirvana after death.

Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)

59 Replies to “Myanmar : Bago Reclining Shwethalyaung Buddha (Indoor)”

    1. Dear Chloe,

      You are right, Myanmar is a Buddhist country and the land is full of pagodas and temples. Everywhere you will spot big and small pagodas. However, the reclining Buddha Swethalyaung (indoor) is one of the historical site in Bago city, about 2 hours drive from Yangon.

  1. Wow! Everything is almost perfect. I heard them from stranger at Train, they were right almost. It is really beautiful and you know culture within you gets wake up.

    1. Dear Lyosha,

      Glad to learn that you have some exposure from the Myanmar culture. It’s pretty interesting to learn other countries culture which can be quite different from ours.

    1. Dear Supermom,

      Myanmar is still very backward compared to Thailand and Vietnam in term of tourism. The Myanmar government only open up few years ago so plenty of work such as infrastructure and other amenities are on it way.

  2. Wow! This is just stunning – I can imagine that experiencing this in person would be truly wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Dear Delhi,

      Bago city is an ancient city for Myanmar, just 1.5 to 2 hrs drive from Yangon. Worth to do a day trip and there are several historical site to visit within a day.

  3. I have never been in Bago, Myanmar but it looks like a nice place to visit and their architecture designs of their buildings are really gorgeous.

  4. I have seen a few reclining Buddha statues during my travels in South East Asia but I never knew the significance of it. The one in Bago looks very impressive and it’s incredible that it dates all the way back from the 10th century.

    1. Dear Marysam

      The one thing I realised is the sleeping position is represent the historical Buddha during his last illness, about to enter the parinirvana/nirvana after death. No wonder there are many reclining Buddha all over Asia.

    1. Dear Allthingsimplywindy,

      It is very interesting to learn about history of a place as it reveals all of the past. We also get to learn about their culture along the way and broaden our horizon.

  5. I saw a reclining Buddha in Bangkok. The thing that impressed me the most was his feet. So thank you for showing me the feet of this amazing Buddha. Great post.

    1. Dear Enriqueta,

      There are many reclining Buddha in Asia and Bangkok is another top location to check on the reclining Buddha 🙂 Glad you have seen one too. The Buddha feet of the reclining Buddha in Myanmar has intricate pattern and I think it meant something.

  6. What a unique and beautiful place! The dress code is a good bit of information to have, but I would love to see it one day!

    1. Dear Heather,

      The national dress code for Burmese people in Myanmar are usually Longyi which is a long piece of cloth to wrap around your waist. For many temples & pagoda complexes, a strict dress code is a must – that is no sleeveless and knees must be covered.

    1. Dear Sam,

      Do check on the pillow where the Buddha’s head rested, built with beautiful masaic and the 10 murals behind the Buddha, telling story and history of the Buddha.

    1. Dear Preet,

      Bago is a hidden gem near Yangon, about 2 hours drive from Yangon City Myanmar. Most people would do a day trip to Bago city to check out the few historical sites there.

    1. Dear Vaibhav,

      The reclining Buddha was built in 994 but only discovered in 1881 after the British trying to build a railway to connect Bago city with Yangon City. The reclining Buddha was covered by the forest for years.

  7. Wow I never though about visiting here before. I love your photos and it shows a different side I haven’t seen. Thanks for sharing

    1. Dear Faneshita,

      Myanmar is country that is full of culture and history, a little backward compared to its neighboring countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand. The Myanmar Government has recently open up the door for foreigners to visit the country so many tourists has rushed in but the infrastructure and other amenities are still lacking to support the tourist industry.

    1. Dear Synz,

      I guess you are well exposed to some of the Burmese culture since you mingle with your Burmese workmates. Hope you enjoy their culture and better understand them when you explore Myanmar.

  8. This looks really colorful, very usual for a European Eye. For me, photography is the main thing in traveling and I would love to get to this place with my camera.

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