Six-storey high seated Buddha that started from a dream
The frog and the snake
Koe Htat Kyee pagoda is one of the most prominent symbols of Sanchaung. Legend has it that it all started with a dream. Many years ago the revered chief monk U Arsaya Sayadaw dreamt that a big snake chased a little frog up a hill. When the fog reached the top, the strangest thing happened, the frog stopped running, stood on his little legs and challenged the snake. In Sayadaw’s dream the two creatures made peace and continued to live on the hill together happily ever after. Sayadaw decided to build a pagoda on that hill, a symbol of power, wisdom, kindness, peace, and a tribute to the frog and the snake.
The merit makers
When Sayadaw described the dream to his followers, they helped fulfil their teacher’s wish. The myth on the plaque reads: “Following the loud croaks of a frog one full moon night, we came to find this hillock with a chest full of gold underneath.” The devoted couple U Kyin and Daw Ngwe San later used the unearthed gold to build the giant Buddha statue and pagoda.
Dream to reality
Just as Sayadaw had predicted, Koe Htat Kyee pagoda is now a space where people of all ages come to pray and meditate. Visitors offer flowers and fruits, freshly bought from street vendors around the corner. In the shaded compound kids play and wait for the adults to finish reciting mantras. Listening to the chirps and chimes, it’s not difficult to imagine why Sayadaw believed the place to be ‘situationally powerful’.