Golden Rock, pagoda on the rock • Myanmar

Embark on a journey to the Kyaitktiyo Pagoda at Golden Rock in Myanmar! Our less-than-7-minute video takes you on the road to this wonder of Buddhism. Marvel at the golden leaves that cover the rock, which is said to be precariously balanced on a hair of the Buddha. Is it legend or reality? We'll also provide historical context to help you better understand the significance of this pilgrimage site. And for a perfectly planned trip, check out our dedicated page for the one-week weather forecast. Don't miss this opportunity to discover the beauty and cultural richness of Golden Rock, and let our immersive video transport you there.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Myanmar. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.
Chapters: 

00:44 • The road to the Golden Rock

02:05 • The Golden Rock

03:39 • At dawn

 

Burma (Myanmar), places of pilgrimage 

Burma, renamed Myanmar in 1989, is a very devout Buddhist country and is full of popular places of pilgrimage. 

Among these places, there is in order of importance, the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon), then Mahamuni Pagoda (near Mandalay) . The third most important shrine is a small pagoda nestled on a granite rock atop Mount Kyaitktiyo in Mon State in central Myanmar. 

Golden Rock 

The Golden Rock Summit Pagoda, also known as Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, is one of the holiest sites of Buddhism in Burma (Myanmar). It is located on top of a golden rock that rises over 1,100 meters above sea level in the mountains of Mon State in southern Myanmar. 

The pagoda itself is a small golden stupa in a spherical shape, measuring about 7.3 meters in height, which rests on a concrete bell-shaped base. The rock on which the pagoda is built is covered in gold and is about 25 meters high. 

The pagoda itself is not accessible to the public and a whole complex of temples has been built on the rock to accommodate the thousands of worshipers who go there daily. 

The rock on which Kyaitktiyo Pagoda is built appears to be in an unstable balance, towering over the hill. 

According to Buddhist tradition, the rock would be placed on a hair of Buddha, which gives it its status as a holy place. Pilgrims come from far and wide to see the Golden Rock, which is considered one of nature's miracles. Legend has it that it is kept balanced on the edge of a cliff by a Buddha's hair, which explains why it does not fall despite its apparent inclination. 

However, there are other legends explaining the presence of this rock. One of them affirms that the celestial king would have been strongly impressed by the fervor and the asceticism of a monk and would have placed at this place a rock having the shape of the head of this holy man. 

Still, the place is sacred, and a Burmese tradition wants sacred objects to be covered with gold leaf. Sometimes, as in the Mahamuni Pagoda, the layer of gold applied by the faithful on the heads of the Buddhas is so thick that the statue becomes shapeless. This is not the case with the Golden Rock. 

All day long, the faithful crowd, each with his little gold leaf, near the rock to cover it. The result is impressive. 

The base of the rock was painted in gold with motifs in the shape of a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddhists. 

fervor of the faithful 

Worshipers climb the rock by the thousands, using the only means of transport allowed on this long route, the local bus. Or rather a truck where dozens of people are seated. 

The animation around the rock is important. Many pilgrims spend the night under the stars, on the ground, to be sure to be there at sunrise. 

Offerings 

Near the central square, dozens of merchants sell offerings in the surrounding temples. These stalls sell flowers as well as pastries and fruits to offer to the temple. 

On the way to the top 

Getting off the truck halfway is a good idea. 

Halfway to the Golden Rock, the truck stops to let off those who want to do the last part of the road on foot. Although the slope is quite steep, these few kilometers allow you to meet extremely friendly villagers.

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

The Golden Rock is located on top of a hill and can only be accessed by truck from the valley. But better to stop halfway and do the last part on foot. Even if the coast is steep, the encounters we make along the way largely compensate for the fatigue.

 

his strange rock is a very important place of pilgrimage in Myanmar. This seemingly unstable balanced rock is entirely covered with gold leaf glued by the faithful males.

And as often one or more legends are at the origin of this place of pilgrimage.

One of these legends states that the rock is placed on a lock of Buddha's hair which prevents him from rolling down the hill.

Another legend has it that the Heavenly King was so impressed by the asceticism of a priest that he transported this rock to this place. He would also have chosen a rock that looks like the head of this priest.

 

When we have the chance to spend the night there, we are surprised to find hundreds of pilgrims

who sleep on the ground and who say their prayers at dawn.

And for some reason that escaped our notice, all these people come back down as soon as the sun is up.

Most of them are there with their whole family, with their luggage.

Porters (who are often porters) offer their services to carry the luggage in baskets that they put on their backs. Sometimes it even happens that old people do not have the strength to come down on their own, so ... hop, on the suitcases, the grandmother ...

about the place, Golden Rock:

Golden Rock: If the legend is to be believed, the rock would be in unstable equilibrium on a strand of Buddah hair. A pagoda was built next to this mysterious rock perched at the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo. The rock is covered with gold leaf (hence its name) and is the third most important place of pilgrimage in Myanmar after the Shwedagon (in Yangon) and the Mahamuni pagoda near Mandalay.

 

 

Music:

 - YouTube video library - A Fallen Cowboy

 - YouTube video library - Bus Da Blockbuster

 - YouTube video library - People Watching

Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of burmese traditional music in "Golden Rock, pagoda on the rock • Myanmar ", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

the pagoda seen from afar, Golden Rock • Myanmar

the pagoda seen from afar

The Golden Rock at sunset, Golden Rock • Myanmar

The Golden Rock at sunset

The Golden Rock in the early morning, Golden Rock • Myanmar

The Golden Rock in the early morning

worshipers sticking gold leaves on the Golden Rock, Golden Rock • Myanmar

worshipers sticking gold leaves on the Golden Rock

Golden Rock, Myanmar

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