The most outstanding of Bago’s attractions is the Shwemawdaw Pagoda (Great Golden God Pagoda), which is to Bago what the Shwedagon is to Yangon. Its stupa can be seen from about 10km (6 miles) outside the city. Richly gilded from base to tip, the pagoda has many similarities to the Shwedagon, and is in fact even taller than its more famous cousin, standing at 114 metres (374ft) in height. The Shwemawdaw Pagoda is tallest Pagoda in Myanmar.
Lord Buddha in his life time Bestowed two sacred Hairs on two devout Buddhist brothers, Mahasala and Cullasala, who bore them back to Bago and enshrined them on the Sudasana Hill and built a Pagoda, seventy five feets high, above the spot. In 825 A.D and 840 A.D, Kings Thamala and Wimala raised the heigh of the Pagoda to eighty one feets and eighty eight respectively. King Dhamazedi (1472-1492) raised the hight to 277 feet . Byinnyaran(1492-1526) replaced the old Htee blown down by a high wind in 1492. Bayinnaung (1551-1581) broke up his crown and used its jewels to adorn the spire.1917 shattered the Pagoda down to bell-shape. Part of the Hnget-pyaw-bu hurled down then may still be seen at the north- east corner of the Pagoda. The pagoda was fully reconstructed by 1920.