Otherwise: Great Cave
Address:     Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Year built:   1953-1954
Architect:    Unknown

The convention of the synod was held here, a cave inside an artificially created rock. Its construction consumed 12,000 tons of cement and 380 tons of steel. The dimensions are equally impressive: the outside structure is 140 metres long and 110 metres wide. Inside, the assembly hall is 70 metres long and 40 metres wide. This created capacity for about 7,500 spectators to join the 2,500 monastics. Six entrances admitted people back then, signifying the Sixth Great Buddhist Synod. The cave was completed in 14 months, thanks in no small part to thousands of volunteer labourers.

The convention space holds up to 10,000 people

Allegedly, U Nu was inspired to commission the cave as the centre of the synod following an earlier visit to the Satta Panni Cave in India, where the First Great Buddhist Synod was held the year after the Buddha’s passing. Today the cave is surrounded by trees. When the synod was held, however, it was almost entirely bare and its scale therefore easier to appreciate. The cave can be visited, the main entrance is on the southern side. It is still used for religious ceremonies. Given the precious little traffic around here, locals use the road surrounding the cave for their workout routines.