10 Photos: The Temples of Bagan

Only a few days after the Myanmar government announced that it would ban the climbing of the Bagan temples and pagodas, it revoked its decision. According to reports, tourists have been allowed to climb five of the two-thousand-plus pagodas and temples in the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Watching sunset in one of the top porches of the ancient structures is one of the drawcards of Bagan tourism. See reports here and here.

Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple is a Buddhist temple built in 1105 AD during the reign (1084–1113) of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. (from Wikipedia)

Htilominlo Temple

Htilominlo Temple is a Buddhist temple built during the reign of King Htilominlo (also known as Nandaungmya), 1211-1231. The temple is three stories tall, with a height of 46 metres (151 ft), and built with red brick. It is also known for its elaborate plaster moldings. (from Wikipedia)

Shwezigon Pagoda

The Shwezigon Pagoda or Shwezigon Paya (ရွှေစည်းခုံဘုရား) is a Buddhist temple located in Nyaung-U, a town near Bagan. It is a prototype of Burmese stupas, and consists of a circular gold leaf-gilded stupa surrounded by smaller temples and shrines. Its construction began during the reign of King Anawrahta and was completed in 1102 AD, during the reign of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty. The pagoda is believed to enshrine a bone and tooth of Gautama Buddha. Within its compound is a stone pillar containing Mon language inscriptions dedicated by King Kyansittha. (from Wikipedia)

Dhammayangyi Temple

Dhammayangyi Temple is a Buddhist temple, considered to be the largest in Bagan. It was built during the reign of King Narathu.

Shwesandaw Pagoda

The Shwesandaw Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda that contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella (hti). The pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1057, and once contained terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka. Enshrined within the pagoda are sacred hairs of Gautama Buddha, which were obtained from Thaton. (from Wikipedia)

Phya That Gyi Pagoda

The structure in the photo is on the topmost porch of Phya That Gyi Pagoda. It can be accessed through a narrow stairway inside the pagoda.

Sulamani Temple

The Sulamani Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the village of Minnanthu (southwest of Bagan) and one of the most-frequently visited in Bagan. It was built in 1183 by King Narapatisithu and is similar to the Thatbyinnyu Temple in design. It also shows influence from the Dhammayangyi Temple, and was the model for the Htilominlo Temple. It was restored after the 1975 earthquake, and utilises brick and stone, with frescoes in the interior of the temple. It was rebuilt in 1994. (from Wikipedia)

Thatbyinnyu Temple

The Thatbyinnyu Temple was built in the mid-12th century during the reign of King Alaungsithu. It is adjacent to the Ananda Temple. It is shaped like a cross, but is not symmetrical. The temple has two primary storeys, with the seated Buddha image located on the second storey. (from Wikipedia) In photo is one of the entrance gates. Its old age is evident on the black matters on its walls.

Gubyaukgyi Temple

The Gubyaukgyi (alt. Kubyauk-gyi) Temple is located in Myinkaba Village. It was built in 1113 AD by Prince Yazakumar, shortly after the death of his father, King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty. The temple is notable for two reasons. First, it contains a large array of well-preserved frescoes on its interior walls, the oldest original paintings to be found in Bagan. All of the frescoes are accompanied by ink captions written in Old Mon, providing one of the earliest examples of the use of the language in Myanmar. Second, the temple is located just to the west of the Myazedi Pagoda, at which was found two stone pillars with inscriptions written in four, ancient Southeast Asian languages: Pali, Old Mon, Old Burmese, and Pyu. The inscription on the pillar displayed by the Myazedi Pagoda has been called the Burmese Rosetta Stone, given its significance both historically and linguistically, as a key to cracking the Pyu language. (from Wikipedia)

Mingalazedi Pagoda

The Mingalazedi Pagoda is one of few temples in Bagan with a full set of glazed terra cotta tiles depicting the Jataka. The pagoda was built in brick and contains several terraces leading to large pot-shaped stupa at its centre, topped by a bejewelled umbrella (hti). Its construction started in 1274 during the reign of King Narathihapate, a few years before the First Burmese Empire (Pagan Kingdom) was pillaged by the Mongols. (from Wikipedia)


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