One of the main monuments in Yangon, the history of Sule Pagoda is a compound of many legends. Said to be over 2,000 years old (some even say 2,500) and to ‘enshrine a sacred hair relic of the Buddha‘, the Sule Pagoda dominates the center of downtown Yangon. However, with the exception of the octagonal central pagoda, enlarged and reshaped in its current size in the mid 15th Century, all other parts of the complex are modern and no more than a century old.
The name of the pagoda stems from a legend according to which the site where it was build was home of a powerful nat (a spirit), called Sularata (or the Sule nat). Apart from being an important religious gathering in the city, the Sule Pagoda also held an important role in the protests against the government and a meeting point for the pro-democracy demonstrations.