[Original caption] Sheveegeena Pagoda, Pagan, Burmah. The golden pagoda at Pagan, 900 years ago, of the Burmah empire. The site is now a desert, forced labour employed for the building of these temples having ruined its prosperity. [end]
The Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most famous religious buildings of Myanmar. The word "Shwedagon" has come from the blend of "Shwe" (gold) and "Dagon" (an old name for Yangon). This pagoda boasts of a mandala (cosmogram) design that contains 78 smaller pagodas at the base. These smaller pagodas rise 100 steps, via temples as well as pavilions, to the central pagoda located at the top.