Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock Pagoda, is located on top of Kyaikhtiyo Hill at about 3,600 Feet ( 1,100 meters ) above sea level in Mon State. The distance from Yangon via Bago is approximately 130 miles ( 210 km ).
The Pagoda was built over a hair relic , more than 2,500 years ago , in the life time of Buddha. Legend has it that the hair relic was given to a hermit by Buddha himself. The hermit treasured the sacred hair in his hair knot until he found a boulder resembling his own head on which he could build a Pagoda to enshrine it.
Although small in size ( The height of the Pagoda is 22'-8" or 6.9 meters , and that of the boulder on which the Pagoda was built is 22' or 6.7 meters ) it is one of the most revered and celebrated Pagodas in Myanmar. It could be qualified as one of the wonders of the world by virtue of the fact that it sits uniquely at the apex of a huge, almost egg shape granite boulder. This boulder ( now completely gilded ) is precariously perched on a projecting tabular rock. The gilded boulder and the rock table are two separate pieces, the boulder actually balancing off the extreme verge of the sloping surface of the rock and overhanging it by nearly half its length. The slope drops down perpendicularly into a valley below. On the other side the rock table is separated several feet from the rest of the hill by a deep chasm, now appended by a small bridge. By gently rocking the boulder a thread could be passed through between it and the rock table. When viewed from a certain angle, this separation can be appreciated by virtue of a thin beam of day light shining through.