Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)
Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is located in the small town called Kyaikhto, in the Mon State. This destination is 160km away from Yangon. The pagoda is 1100km above sea-level. It is a 11 kilometer uphill climb for the hikers from Kinpun base camp. There is also a steep winding road for 4-wheel drive cars from the base to the nearest point of the pagodas. The pagoda is also known as “the golden rock”. The meaning of KyaikHtiYo : According to Mon tradition, the name is a corruption of Kyaiki-thi-yo being derived as follows. In Mon language the word “Kyaik” means ” pagoda” and ” yo” ” to carry on the hermits head”, in Pali the word” ithi” means a hermit and therefore the name means ” the pagoda carried on the hermit’s head.
The pagoda, about 18 feet high, and 50 feet in girth. is situated on the hill of the same name on the ridge between Sittaung and Thanlwin. It is built on a huge, almost egg- shaped, rounded granitoid boulder perched on the very summit of a projecting and shelving tabular rock, which in itself is separated several feet from the mountain by a rent or chasm, now spanned by a small foot bridge of iron and on the further side drops perpendicularly into a valley blow.
One of the wonder of the world ,Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda ( Golden Rock ) , known as the Golden Rock (built in 574 B.C ). It lies 229 km far from Yangon and built on a huge boulder which stands on the extreme edge of the cliff, 3625 ft( 1095.45 m ) above sea level.
Some marvelous facts about the Golden rock are as follows :
• Volume of the Rock : 244.58 M3
• Density of the Rock : 2.5 Ton/M3
• Weight of the Rock : 611.5 Tons
• Height of the Rock : 8.15 m (26ft , 9 in)
• Kind of the Rock : Granite
• Contact area : 0.714 sq-m ( 7.69 sq-ft )
• Volume of the Stupa : 9.26 M3
• Density of the Stupa: 2.1 Ton/M3
• Weight of the Stupa: 19.45 Tons
• Height of the Stupa : 33ft , 2 in
It is said that the boulder has been over 2500 years. The tradition is that after the hermit had obtained the hair from the Buddha, he was carrying it on his head inside his hair knot till he found a boulder which resembled his head, and so he built the pagoda on its enshrining the relic, substituting the boulder for his over head.
On the extreme verge of this sloping rock table, and actually over hanging it by nearly half, is perched this wonderful boulder (now completely gilded with gold), thirty feet high and surrounded by the pagoda. By gently rocking the boulder a thread can be passed underneath; seemingly appears as if the additional weight of a few pounds, or a strong wind, would send it sliding down from the place it has occupied for unknown centuries watching over three thousand feet into the sloping valley beneath and we know what freakish law keeps it in its position. Anyway pious Buddhists attribute it to the power of the relic enshrined in the pagoda.
This relic is a hair of Gotama Buddha given to a hermit residing on the mountain by the Buddha himself as he was returning from the second heaven of the Nats whither he had gone to preach the law to his mother.
Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival
It is of considerable celebrity and attracts crowds of worshippers annually beginning from October to March which is the seasonal pilgrimage period for worshippers Especially on the full moon day of Tabaung, the platform of the pagoda is lighted with ninety thousand candles offered to the Buddha and thousands of worshippers gather around the pagoda offering fruits, foods incense to the Buddha. Sometimes reflected rays of color from the Buddha’s image were said to have been observed by the worshipers.