08/02/2014 08:56 am ET

10 Most Spectacular Golden Pagodas Around The World

Many religious buildings around the world are gloriously decorated with intricate mosaics, stained glass windows, beautiful art, and soaring arches, but these golden pagodas may outshine them all.

Most of the pagodas serve as places where holy relics are kept, as well as houses of Buddhist worship. Myanmar's Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the largest such structures in the world, contains strands of the Buddha's hair inside the shrine. It is covered with gold plates, some of which have been donated by the people of Myanmar. The stupa's top is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond.

Perhaps the most precarious pagoda is Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also called The Golden Rock, which is located in Myanmar as well. The stupa rests on top of a giant boulder, perched on the edge of a cliff. According to lore, the only thing that keeps it from rolling off the edge is a strand of the Buddha's hair.

See more of the pagodas here:

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Mon State, Myanmar Wat Saket, Bangkok, Thailand Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, Sagaing, Myanmar Kangyi Pagoda, Mon State, Myanmar target="_hplink">Dhammayazika Pagoda, Pwasaw, Myanmar Wat Phra That Chae Haeng, Nan Province, Thailand The Global Vipasssana Pagoda, Gevrai, India Wat Phrathat Doisuthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand


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