Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon, literally “End of Strife”) is the capital of the Yangon Region of Myanmar, also known as Burma. Yangon served as the capital of Myanmar until 2006, when the military government relocated the capital to the purpose-built city of Naypyidaw in central Myanmar. With over 7 million people, Yangon is Myanmar’s largest city and is its most important commercial centre.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw and also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon. The 99 m tall pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline. Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present kalpa. These relics include the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama. Historians and archaeologists maintain that the pagoda was built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries. However, according to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda was constructed more than 2,600 years ago, which would make it the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world.