A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower, built in the traditions originating in historic East Asia or with respect to those traditions, with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Burma and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist, and were often located in or near temples. This term may refer to other religious structures in some countries. In Vietnam and Cambodia, due to French translation, the English term pagoda is a more generic term referring to a place of worship, although pagoda is not an accurate word to describe a Buddhist temple. The modern pagoda is an evolution of the Ancient Nepalstupa, a tomb-like structure where sacred relics could be kept safe and venerated. The architectural structure of the stupa has spread across Asia, taking on many diverse forms as details specific to different regions are incorporated into the overall design.
The Shwedagon Pagoda (ရွှေတိဂုံစေတီတော်, IPA: [ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ pʰəjá]); Mon: ကျာ် လ္ဂုၚ်, [tɕaɪʔ təkɜ̀ŋ]; officially titled Shwedagon Zedi Daw ([ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ zèdìdɔ̀]), also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a 99 metres (325 ft) gilded pagoda and stupa located in Yangon, Burma. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, thus dominating the skyline of the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within: the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight strands of hair from Gautama, the historical Buddha. Uppatasanti Pagoda is an exact replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Naypyidaw, the new capital of Burma.