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Natwar visits Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar
V Mohan Narayan in Yangon | March 25, 2005 14:36 IST
External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh on Friday visited the revered Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar.
Four of Buddha's four relics are enshrined in the Pagoda.
On a four-day visit to Myanmar, Singh, accompanied by his wife Hem and Indian Ambassador R K Bhatia, went around the Pagoda, located atop a 58-metre-high hill.
"It is a great honour to pay homage at this historic and sacred place. We bow humbly," Singh wrote in the visitors' book.
He last visited Myanmar 18 years ago as a member of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's delegation.
One of the wonders of the world, it is believed that the Pagoda was built over 2500 years ago. After the release of Buddha, his relics were divided in eight equal parts and enshrined in an equal number of stupas.
Later, emperor Ashoka is said to have recovered one of the eight parts and distributed it among 84,000 stupas.
The Shwedagon Pagoda takes a pre-eminent place because it enshrines sacred hair of the Buddha, which was obtained during his lifetime.
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