Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple: A Panoramic View of Spiritual Grandeur in Myanmar

Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple: A Panoramic View of Spiritual Grandeur in Myanmar


Established as an important symbol of Myanmar’s rich Buddhist tradition, the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple in Yangon is renowned for its colossal reclining Buddha statue. The temple’s history is intertwined with the devotion and faith of Myanmar’s Buddhist population.

The construction of the temple commenced in 1899 under the patronage of a wealthy Burmese Buddhist, Sir Po Tha. Unfortunately, due to misinterpretation of the original plan, the Buddha image was proportionally inaccurate, which led to the demolition of the initial statue.

A second attempt to construct the Buddha statue was initiated in 1957, backed by public contributions. This time, the image was crafted with careful attention to detail, ensuring an accurate representation of the Buddha’s physical attributes. The construction lasted six years, culminating in the magnificent statue we see today.

Over the years, the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple has become a revered site for worship and a popular destination for both local and international tourists, thanks to the majestic presence of the colossal Buddha statue and the peaceful ambiance of the temple complex.

Why Visit

Visiting the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple offers an opportunity to witness one of the most remarkable Buddha statues in the world. The reclining Buddha, measuring approximately 66 meters (217 feet) in length, is known for its intricate detailing and proportionality, symbolizing the Buddha in a state of parinirvana (ultimate enlightenment).

The statue’s face, in particular, attracts attention due to its expressive depiction. The eyes, made of special imported glass, have a realistic, almost lifelike quality, while the foot soles of the Buddha are adorned with symbolic markings representing the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha.

Furthermore, the temple provides a tranquil environment for meditation and reflection, making it an ideal destination for those seeking spiritual enrichment. It is also a place of significant religious ceremonies and gatherings, providing a glimpse into Myanmar’s cultural and religious practices.

Location and Route

The Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is located in the Bahan Township of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. The temple is situated a short distance away from the downtown area and other popular tourist attractions, making it easily accessible for visitors.

Yangon is well connected to other major cities in Myanmar by air, road, and rail. The Yangon International Airport offers both domestic and international flights. Long-distance buses and trains are also available for those traveling from other parts of the country.

Once in Yangon, visitors can reach the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple by taxi, bus, or even by foot if they are staying nearby. Many prefer to combine their visit to the temple with other nearby attractions, such as the Shwedagon Pagoda or the Kandawgyi Lake.

When to Visit

The Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is open to visitors throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Yangon, in terms of weather, is during the cool and dry months from November to February.

The temple, being a place of worship, can be particularly bustling during religious festivals and holidays. One such significant event is the Thadingyut Festival, or Festival of Lights, usually held in October. This provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to witness and partake in the local religious and cultural festivities.

What to See

The centerpiece of the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is undoubtedly the impressive reclining Buddha statue. The sheer size of the statue, combined with its detailed craftsmanship, is a sight to behold. The Buddha’s serene facial expression, beautifully rendered eyes, and the intricate symbols on the foot soles create a captivating spectacle.

In addition to the main statue, the temple complex houses several other interesting sights. This includes a series of murals depicting the life of the Buddha, and a number of smaller Buddha statues and religious artworks. Moreover, a collection of monastic buildings surround the main temple, offering a view into the daily life of the monks residing there.

Moreover, one of the temple’s unique features is a shrine dedicated to Ma Thay, a holy man known for his ability to communicate with the nats (spirit beings). The shrine attracts many local devoteers who come to pay their respects and seek spiritual guidance.

In essence, a visit to the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is a journey into the spiritual heart of Myanmar. The temple’s spiritual ambiance, coupled with the stunning reclining Buddha and the associated religious artworks, provide a deep insight into Myanmar’s Buddhist heritage. Whether you’re a devotee, a history enthusiast, or a curious traveler, the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple has something to offer for everyone.