Kyaik Htiyo

kyaikhtiyoe01Stting on a bus and looking out of the window, I was trying my best to enjoy the passing by scenery. But I could not see a thing because of misty weather. The mist was everywhere and it was impossible to see a thing which was two feet away from me. Being a Yangonite has not given me a chance to see that much mist all my life. It was December and I was travelling to Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) with my family. This pagoda is located at an approximate distance of 20 kilometers from Kyaikhtiyo town which in turn is about 160 km from Yangon the capital of Myanmar. Finally, the bus stopped at Kin Poon Sa Khan; it is the start place before going to

A SLOW WALKER LIKE ME TOOK 8 HOURS BEFORE GETTING TO PAGODA. IT IS SAID THAT ALL THE TIREDNESS AND FATIGUE WENT AWAY WHEN ONE SEES THE PAGODA AND I DID FEEL LIKE THAT.

The mountain where the pagoda is built. Here, one can decide how they would like to get to the pagoda. From the base of the hill you can either trek up to the Pagoda along an 11 km path or drive up within 30 minutes walking distance from the Golden Rock. Trekking is not an easy task because they are supposed to climb 33 mountains before getting to the pagoda.

kyaikhtiyoe02Kids, the aged, and the physically underprivileged can take the help of bamboo carrier chairs. For me I chose to climb mountains with an intention to take tons of photos while walking. It was an enjoyable walk because of stalls along the way. They sell different kinds of foods, drinks and soveniors. The best food these stalls provided was fried vegetables and grilled meat. Freshness of the food makes the taste better foods available in Yangon.

The scenery from the mountain is breathtaking and it is quite irresistible to take photo. A slow walker like me took 8 hours before getting to pagoda. It is said that all the tiredness and fatigue went away when one sees the pagoda and I did feel like that. Kyaikhtiyo' literally means 'the pagoda carried on the hermit's head'. This Pagoda is 50 feet in circumference and 18 feet in height is located on a 1100 meter hill between Thanlwin and Sittaung. The egg-shaped granite boulder perched on another tabular rock is gilded in gold.

The history of this pagoda is that a hermit after receiving a sermon from Gautama Buddha obtained a hair strand from Buddha himself and placed it within his hair. While returning he discovered this granite rock which resembled his head. He subsequently built a pagoda on this 30 feet high rock to protect and preserve this relic. This egg-shaped boulder can be rocked by gentle pushing and a thread passed underneath.

kyaikhtiyoe03You can have the impression that this delicately balanced rock will topple by a strong wind or by adding a few kilogram weights. However, that is not to happen and therein lays the mystery of Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda.

This pagoda is supposedly 2500 years old and visited by devotees and enthusiasts throughout the year. There are pagodas on top of nearby hills and visitors can also enjoy water fountain which is not very far away from Kyaikhtiyo itself. Here also, all the paths are lined with different kinds of stalls. One interesting things is here one can get different kinds of roots and trees for medical use and they can also get parts of animals like liver of bear and snake.

On the way back too, I chose to trek down because I was so in love with the scenery. It is also faster and only took about 4 hours to get to the base. This trip is very different from other trips I have done because it needs efforts to make it done. That is why it stands out from other trips I have made and going to be a lasting memory to every one who has experienced.

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