The Kaba Aye paya or “World peace pagoda” is a relatively recent pagoda in Yangon. The pagoda and the adjoining Maha Pasana Guha cave were built in 1952 by U Nu, the prime minister of Burma to host the 6th Buddhist council which ended in 1956, 2,500 years after the Buddha’s passing into final Nirvana.
The stupa measures 36 meters tall and has a circumference of 34 meters around the base. Its golden dome is topped with a multi tiered hti, an ornamental spire shaped like an umbrella.
Around the lower part of the pagoda is a very colorful circular structure in which are five entrances topped with elaborately carved arches. Large niches in between the entrances enshrine standing images of the Buddha in front of mural paintings.
Vendors at the entrances sell candles, incense sticks and other items to devotees who come to make merit.
Interior of the pagoda
In the center of the pagoda is a large, hollow pillar. Its exterior is adorned with murals of nature in blue and green colors. Around the pillar are golden images of the four Buddhas that have reached Nirvana, namely Kassapa Buddha, Kakusandha Buddha, Konagamana Buddha and Gautama Buddha.
Inside the hollow pillar is a large silver Buddha image in the Bhumisparsha mudra of “Calling the Earth to witness”, seated on a elaborate pedestal. Around the walls are numerous smaller images in various postures. The pagoda’s outer walls opposite the pillar are adorned with large murals showing Buddhist depictions.
Maha Pasana Guha cave
The Maha Pasana Guha (“Great cave”) is a large man made “cave” that contains a meeting hall where the 6th Buddhist council was held. The meeting hall was built inside a cave because the first Buddhist council was held inside a cave in India shortly after the Buddha’s passing into final Nirvana about 2,500 years ago. The hall’s six entrances and six large pillars supporting the roof symbolize the six councils.
The hall measuring 67 meters long and 43 meters wide with a high ceiling is now used for various meetings and to host examinations on the Tripitaka, the teachings of the Buddha. At the end of the hall is a small Buddha image seated on an elaborate throne in the “Calling the Earth to witness” posture.
Also on the grounds are the Buddhist art museum and the Buddhist learning center, as well as a fish pond where large catfish are fed by devotees to make merit.
How to get to the Kaba Aye Pagoda
The pagoda is found in Mayangon township, North of Yangon town center. It is located on Kabar Aye pagoda road, about 1 kilometer North East of Inya Lake. The Maha Pasana Guha is directly North of the pagoda.
Entrance fee & opening hours
The Kaba Aye pagoda opens daily from 6 am until 8 pm. Entrance fee is US$ 5.