Soon Oo Ponnyashin Pagoda - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

Soon Oo Ponnyashin Pagoda

This ‘early offering shrine’ is the most important of the temples on Sagaing Hill’s Southern Crown and the first you’ll come to on climbing the One Lion stairway. Notice the bronze frogs that serve as a collection box in the rather gaudy Buddha hall – the hill was originally thought to resemble a giant toad, a superstitious blessing which inspired Sagaing's development in the 14th century. The central 97ft-high gilded stupa was originally conceived in 1312.

Legends claim that it magically appeared overnight, built by the local king’s faithful minister Pon Nya in a superhuman flurry of activity inspired by a magical Buddha relic that he’d found in a betel-nut box. The myth fancifully claims that Pon Nya himself was of supernatural parentage, his father having ‘flown’ to Sagaing from the Himalayas millennia before, arriving to a curious communion with the Buddha, seven hermits and a flower-bearing orang-utan.

Location: Sagaing, Mandalay, Myanmar

Highlights:

Notice the bronze rabbit that serves as a collection box in the rather gaudy Buddha hall.

Having fantastic views over the Buddhist University, other temples and pagoda below.

Pagoda Festival is held on the fullmoon day of Waso (July).