Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha
Just a short walk down the street from us is another amazing Buddhist site, Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha. The story is that fifty years ago there was a giant standing Buddha statue that towered above the trees on this spot. One day it got tired and crumbled to the ground. So they decided to build a laying Buddha in it's place. This is actually not a very touristy site, it is not listed on many of the places to see in town yet it is a stunning site. I think what was most surprising was the very simple surroundings of the Buddha. You would expect a place this important to stand out but the entrance looks similar to many other pagoda entrances that aren't nearly as spectacular.
The Buddha itself is over 5 stories in height and about 219 feet from head to foot aka it was HUGE! It was shimmering gold all along the robe and glittering with jewels.
The feet were especially interesting. There are 108 images on the soles of the Buddha that represent the three worlds. "59 indicating the inanimate world (Okasaloka), 21 indicating the animate world (Sallaloka), and 28 indicating the world of the conditioned (Sankharaloka)." We got a pamphlet that showed the meaning of each of the symbols and it was fun matching them up to the soles. Some of the symbols included the sun, the east island, the cup full of water, the white lotus, the white parasol, the ruby, the mountain of the universe, among others.
I heard that almost directly across the street from this Buddha is another seated Buddha that is one of the largest in Myanmar so we will most certainly have to head down to this area again to see another spectacular site.
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Alisa & Kim
Two expats living, teaching, and eating their way across this beautiful world