Saturday, 1 February 2014

Scenes from Shwedagon Pagoda




"To the traveller approaching from the sea the pagoda is a vision of dazzling brilliancy and is visible long before the low-lying shores and distant mountains have evolved themselves from the waste of waters. If the approach is in the early morning when the sun has not yet risen his eyes will gaze into a misty void, grey and colourless, but with the first rays of approaching light a vision as of something celestial will be sharply silhouetted against the darkness, something which has fallen from the walls of heaven, and now floats a golden glory for the delight and astonishment of man. As the light increases this brilliancy becomes almost too dazzling for mortals to gaze upon. Finally the mists grow thinner and thinner, and then sail away, leaving the structure resting upon a mound of delicate green that rolls downward and away across the valley where stands the city of Rangoon, and where the Irrawaddy forces its way to the ocean." M.M. Shoemaker, Quaint Corners Of Ancient Empires (1899)