Pyay (a.m.) / Yangon (p.m.), Myanmar

  • Date
  • 14 March 2001
  • Lodging
  • Traders Hotel
  • Distance
  • 308 KM
  • Total
  • 149024 KM

About 45 minutes beyond Pyay on our way to Yangon, we stopped at Shwemyetman (Bespectacled) Buddha, the world’s only eyeglass wearing Buddha.

The story behind the Buddha: in the 5th century BC, King Duttabaung and his Queen Sanda Devi came to Shwenattaung Pagoda and paid homage, then began their journey home. They stopped the night near Shwedaung and the Queen dreamt of she would visit a Buddha nearby. The next day she told the King, who set off with his followers to find the dreamed about Buddha. Once found, the Buddha’s eyes were surrounded by halo-like, sparkling lights, which pointed to the sky. The King took this to mean he should construct a Buddha, which he did, but without spectacles. Later the King lost his vision and consulted a sage, who advised him to donate a pair of glasses to the Buddha he’d built. Restored sight came to the King once the spectacles were added to the Buddha.

In 1227, the Myosa of Shwedaung Zeya Nandameik refurbished the Buddha adding new rimmed spectacles, but later they were stolen. In the 19th century, a British commissioner and his wife donated a pair of spectacles to the Buddha when the wife lost her vision. Soon after, she regained her vision.