Golden Pagodes Myanmar
"This is Burma. And no familiar to you land could not be like her", – wrote a century ago Rudyard Kipling.
I drove a lot in the world, I saw a lot, I have something to compare with, and I can’t disagree with the words of the English writer. Burma. Her ancient gold-plated pagodas, her customs, her people – such different (135 ethnic minorities live in the country) and at the same time such equally hospitable, respectfully attentive to stranger – much imprinted in memory. But I will allow myself to give only some ways observations by adding their photos, in the hope that the inquisitive reader will ever be given the opportunity to see what I have seen by traveling by Burma.
"This is the most sleepy capital of the world", – I recorded in the diary after a few days stay in Rangune. I settled at the hotel "Strend", At one time, one of the most famous hotels of the East. And as if he plunged into the atmosphere of the British colony. Hotel – white squat building, with huge halls and spacious rooms. If it were not for an indispensable fan in rooms with very high ceilings, here it seems it would be possible to meet the heroes of Kipling. The presence of past centuries you feel on Maha-Bandula Street. Now she has fallen a magnificence, but the aristocratic style of its buildings is still noticeable. On the wide boulevard, few cars are passing, but a lot of bicycles, velaiks, motoriks and carts. There are no skyscrapers, not visible advertising posters, and supermarkets are the same as they were in the 50s. Sapphires, Rubins, Gold, Nephritis are sold in jewelry shops. It seems that precious stones and gold are the only product that trade in this country.
Calm atmosphere on the streets, kind smiles. And suddenly! On the road leading to the center, two trucks with military, armed to the teeth rush. It immediately reminds me that I am in a country managed by a military regime. Military came to power in 1988 as a result of a bloody state coup. General from Maung arranged a real slaughter, the victims of which thousands of people became.
New broom in a new way. Dictatorship decided to bring old "England" Geographical names in line with local pronunciation. And one day, Burma was renamed Myanmar, Rangne - in Yangon, Pagan – to Bagan, Peg – in Bago, the Iravady River – in Aeayarwadi. Birmanaenet began to be called not "Barmz", As before, and "Bama", Ethnic Group "Karen", Sounds "kayan" etc.
In May 1990, to the surprise of many, the first free elections were held in Burma, which were a real triumph for the opposition. The National League scored more than eighty percent of the votes. But the military refused to pass the power to the hands of Democrats. And again the wave of repressions rolled around the country.
Fate brought me with one Swiss Italian descent, who lives in Burma for two years. It works in the company leading the search for oil fields. This man told that, in all likelihood, in the country, many passed through torture and that many were sent to forced work in the camp. One elderly Buddhist priest from the Tazis on bad English told me about the terrible fate of thousands of people sent to the place of conclusion. They were sent from the camps to mine fields, creating a live shield for military, struggling with rebels.
I will come back to the streets of Rangoon – Yangon, and so far I leave the capital, over which the ghost is still not existing now the British Empire. I’m going to Pagan and Mandalay.
Train lazily crosses the plain. Outside the window floats rice fields extending to the horizon itself, buffaloes that pull the primitive plow. Low cloudiness and paddle fog hanging between heaven and earth, blurs the outlines of poor houses. Even poverty becomes hidden from human eyes.
Train arrived in Taz. Then I got a bus on the road running through rice fields. At noon, when we arrived in Pagan, the heat reached apogee. Thermometer showed more than 40 degrees. It was the time, "When the legs are at rest", As Burmese say. I settled in the hotel with a difficult-to-call title of Tyripitsaya. Eight tents built of teak tree in the center of the park, drowning in colors, and two steps from the majestic Iravadi River.
Having abandoned in the cool bar, I moved to inspect the Pagan – the ancient capital of Burma. Quickly quickly reached Schevezigon, a cult facility built by the king of Anorace, who lived in the XI century. This is one of the most important prayer centers of the whole Burma, because there are such shrines such as the clavicle and the Buddha edge. In November-December, thousands of pilgrims on the Great Holiday Shwezigon go here.
From the historical literature it is known that in the golden times of Pagan – 13,000 cult buildings were built on this plain. Now they are numbered 2217, everyone else was destroyed. But those that remained, preserved well, this was facilitated by the local dry climate.
In the summer of 1975, there was an earthquake in Burma. Some temples suffered greatly. It seemed that they were lost forever. However, due to international support, the Burmese restorers managed, it would seem impossible. Now tourist guides include visiting the ten largest monuments that are preserved for us in pristine form. But many small nameless sanctoes have never been restored, and for an archaeologist-Europeans is a precious diamond without proper rim. Unfortunately, they are doomed to complete destruction. They are ruining not only the time and movement of the earth’s crust, but also thieves. They empty temples and then sell loose foreign "Collectomers". At the same time, the vandals continue to remain unpunished.
. Before the temple of Ananda, White, like a glacier, some man pulls out a statuette of the Buddha and, thieves looking around the sides, suggests me to buy it. "Warie Old, Sir!" – Heps on. He gives all his own species to understand what risk for him this deal is conjugate. He wants me to buy this old thing in him for thirty dollars and made it quickly. He insists for a long time, but in the end "gives" For five dollars.
The next day, along with the guide accompanying me, we go to the monastery. We are used by "Tong" – Horse harness. The guide shows the monastery and a stone, on which one very religious princess ordered the following inscription:
"This kingdom is the most magnificent of all existing on Earth. His inhabitants are brave warriors who are distinguished by extraordinary courage, causing fear and horror in the neighbors. People who inhabit it are confident in their power, they are not typical of the feeling of fear. This land is the birthplace of gifted people. Creation of their hands are known even in the most distant countries. People live here, whose spiritual generosity is difficult to describe. The kingdom of Pagan is a majestic state that people inhabit the strong spirit. "
Today, there is little from the majestic state. Endless wars and time did their job. Nowadays, a small village, surrounded by the temples of the ancient capital. Here and there are shrink yellow and bright orange robes of monks. Bright orange color indicates the depth of religious feelings. Monks in such robes scrupulously follow all religious canons. In the evenings among bamboo houses inhabited by the poor, smoke. The smell of coconut oil dissolves in the air, mixed with a strong garlic smell and a thin fragrance of jasmine.
"Return, English soldiers, come back to Mandalay", – wrote Kipling. I also go to Mandalay. From the muddy river blows the smell of rotten algae. Gray buffaloes with long horns, customized by shouts of wolpas, slowly pull out of the water trunks of teak trees. In the distance sparkle on the sun gold-plated Pagoda Mandalay. These structures are considered to be the latest masterpieces of the Burmese Kingdom.
The city not affected by progress. At first he amazes your imagination, then fuzzles fively. And, ultimately, you come to the thought that you must have to visit here again to finally find the world that seemed no longer exists on earth. Mandalay has always been the center of cultural life Burma and the center of Buddhist traditions. Here is the giant architectural complex of the Royal Palace.
Pagoda Chautozhzhi is almost all hidden from the gaze behind the high wall of the royal palace. I am present at the ceremony "Shin-drink", That is, dedications. Dedication – the highest moment in the life of the young man. Tomorrow he will cross the threshold of the monastery to know the wisdom of the Buddhist teaching and become his follower. Every morning, starting from tomorrow, he, together with his fellow in orange robes, will humbly collect donations – rice and fruits that every day believers bring for monks. Approximately eighty-five percent of the population of Burma – Buddhists, more than three hundred thousand Bons and novices numbered today in the country.
Major City Mandalay. And not far from him – these are the paradoxes of life – is the so-called "Golden Triangle" – Extensive mountainous area where two-thirds of seven thousand tons of opium are produced, annually supplied to the world market. This area of Burma is bordered by China, Thailand and Laos.
The unaid king of these hard-to-reach places called khun sa. In December 1993, he proclaimed himself as president of the Shanov country, the state, which remained not recognized by the international community, despite the fact that it was formally announced its birch office.
Schens are one of many ethnic minorities that inhabit the country. Through a number of years, they fight against Rangoon’s regime. Hon-Mong – the capital of this "states" – Located 15 kilometers from the border with Thailand. This is a quiet town in which 20 thousand people live. Hence, General Khun Sa, who stood at the head of the combat-ready army in 20 thousand people, the iron hand controlled the well-established work of the production process "from poppy to heroin".
However, now surrendered to the authorities kun sa peacefully lives in Rangne.
I’m in rangoon again. And again I go to take a look at the Golden Pagoda – the Swedagon.
On a wide front staircase, which is located on the south side of the Shwedagon, climb to the upper terrace. Everywhere – shiny spiers and pagodas. Here and there are the statues of the Buddha. But the eye, like a magnet, attracts the Golden Dome of the Shavedagon. For the decoration of this pagoda, so much gold went as other country does not have in its golden reserve.
The temple height almost a hundred meters highly ascended over the terrace site. It is covered with 8688 gold plates. This is a kind of frame, which inserted 5448 diamonds and 2317 rubies, sapphires and topaz. I went around the whole temple three times, but I did not adversely with his magnificence.
Cross the threshold of the temple, the floor of which is covered with cold marble plates, you can only leaving shoes at the entrance. And bad will have to someone who will not do this. We have reached us about the Portuguese de Brito, who proclaimed himself as King Siriam in the XVI century. He entered the temple of the temple, he was attracted by the treasures that were under the shods of the sanctuary. De brito was captured and planted on the count.
Europeans is hard to understand in this country. Even today.
I conveniently settled at the restaurant table "Caravik". It is on board the ship, which was built on the sample and the likeness of a really existing, bizarre ship "Pishveman". It was named so in honor of the mythical marine bird from the ancient Indian legends. In the central part of the restaurant ship is Pagoda in several floors. It often put folklore performances. Walked and this evening. The audience was so absorbed by the spectacle, which seemed absolutely forgotten about all their concerns and hard. I, by the way, too. I forgotten the question for a while even constantly tormented me on the way: why such rich pagodas are building in Burma, they bring such generous donations, and the country’s roads almost always look like a dusty rolled rut.
It took quite a bit of time, and before me began to come true that life in Burma – or Myanmar, as you like, – began to change rapidly.