The chronicles relates that the pagoda was built to enshrine the frontlet-relic and tooth relic duplicate supplied by the king of Ceylon. Shwezigon pagoda is a solid cylindrical structure, a prototype of Myanmar stupa. Actually it is a double encased pagoda; the inner one was built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century A.D and the outer one as covered by Kyansittha of Bagan. On the eastern approach to the pagoda is a quandrangular stone pillar with Mon inscription on all four sides, which was dedicated by King Kyansittha. The two famous bronze bells, cast and donated by King Bayinnaung in the 16th century A.D can be seen in the premises. Those bells are inscribed in three languages; Mon, Pali and Myanmar.
In the inscription cave, the brilliant paintings with four tooth relic stupas on the interior wall can be studied. Besides, there are two original Panthagu (brick pavilion with tiered roofs sheltering corner pegs) on the north west and north east sides of the pagoda