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Shwedagon Pagoda

Yangon, Myanmar


King Banya U (AD 1353-1385) and his descendents reconstructed and enlarged it and raised it still higher. Queen Shin Saw Pu, the grand daughter of Banya U, had the pagoda enlarged and raised. She was the first Queen who donated and gilded the pagoda with gold equal to her weight. Her heir and son-in-law King Dhammazedi also continued to donate gold equal to his weight and that of his queen. He cast a huge bell 8 cubits in width at the mouth and 12 cubits in height. It was placed in a hall at the southern entrance of the pagoda.This huge bell was stolen by Filipe de Brittoe Nicote, a Portuguese merchant who later conquered Thanlyin.

He intended to melt it down and cast it into cannons. He was unable to achieve his plan, as the bell was lost in the Yangon River . Later Myanmar artisans claimed the bell and placed at the Shwedagon. Numerous Myanmar kings also made major developments to the pagoda and the surrounds, installing new Htis (Glorious Crown), gilding the pagoda and building rest houses and prayer halls.

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