The chimeric Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s most sacred Buddhist shrine. At 325 ft (99 m), the stupa dominates Yangon’s skyline, and looms even larger in the consciousness of the country’s Buddhists. No site is more revered, nor visited in such numbers. Legend says that the shrine encloses the relics of four Buddhas, includ ing eight hairs of Gautama believed to have been brought here during his lifetime. Successive rulers enlarged and embellished the complex, adding countless shrines, halls, and lesser stupas. Despite earth quake damage and several acts of vandalism by colonial invaders, it has been lovingly restored several times and today looks resplendent.