Explore 10 Famous Pagodas in the Ancient Land of Bagan

06 Jun 2019 by Admin


If Angkor in Cambodia expresses its sophistication in stones and bricks, Bagan Myanmar is the embodiment of immense and taciturn beauty with numerous sacred temples and pagodas.

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From Nyaung U town, the first place where visitors feel the shadow of glorious past in the Buddhist land of Bagan are clusters of Lawkachanthar - Thagyarhit – Thagyarpone under the red brick sunlight gleaming the color of time of the ancient city.

Ananda is considered as the most beautiful temple in Bagan with 4 large gold Buddha statues placed in four directions. Besides, Burmese also call this pagoda Ananda Pahto or Ananda Phaya. Ananda Pagoda is a single storey structure which was built towards the end of the early Bagaan era. The architecture of the pagoda is influenced by Mon and North Indian style.



The most special feature is the gilded sikhara, the tower like spire on top of the pagoda. You can even the reflection of the gilded sikhara from miles away over the Bagan plains. At the night, the monk will light the Ananda Pagoda up which creates mysterous atmosphere.

 In which the Buddha statue in the south is introduced that when walking towards the Buddha to pray, always smile to have a peaceful mind. Four Buddha images erected in four directions are those who achieved Nirvana.

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Htilominlo - a majestic and exquisite temple was built under the order of King Zeya Theinkha. According to his father’s desire, Theinkha is the most deserving person. But to be fair, he chose a successor in accordance to his family’s tradition by using a white umbrella. It would be placed among princes and which direction the umbrella leaned towards, that person would be selected.

Htilominlo has similar design to Sulamani Temple.Inside the 46-metre-high temple, which is similar in design to Sulamani Temple, there are four Buddhas statues inside the 46-metre-high temple which are located on the lower and upper floors. You can also see existing traces of old murals. Besides, decorations of the outside of Htilominlo have still existed as well. 

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Sulamani temple was built under the reign of King Narapat in 1183. It was decorated by the exquisite paintings both on the outer walls and inside the construction which are differ from other buidings in Bagan. When getting into this thousand-year-old temple, you will feel like you are leaving all things outside and temporarily forget everything in the human world.

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Dhammayangyi Temple is largest temple in Bagan with the pyramid shape. Especially, the temple has no top as other temples. The temple was built under the order of  King Narathu (Kalagya Min) in 1167 after he murdered his father. Narathu seized the throne and built with only red bricks without grout. Legend said that the temple remained uncompleted due to the death of king Narathu, which was the reason why it had no top as other temples in Bagan.

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As the highest temple in the windy land, Thatbyinnyu is impressed by its arrays of tiles painted with the color of ancientness. From the distance, the temple stands out proudly admist the ancient land of Bagan.

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Shwesandaw is popular to tourists not because of an architectural masterpiece but it is the best place to watch sunset and sunrise. Tourists often sit in a corner of the temple to look towards the horizon, waiting for the new day sunshine in peace.

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You should also take a Myanmar river cruise on the Irrawaddy River and observe Bupaya Pagoda from the ship to have a different perspective on the ancient Bagan. Bupaya was restored after the big earthquake in 1975.

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Nochanthar pagoda near Ananda Temple with a unique architectural style of Myanmar was designed harmoniously between bricks, wooden roofs and ancient colors of time. Nochanthar nestled under green palm trees which creates a peaceful setting.

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The golden pagoda of Shwezigon originates from the golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Unlike the magnificent Shwedagon, Shwezigon brings a sense of peace though it is very large. Legend said that more than 30 tons of gold was plated and thousands of precious stones were mounted on the top. Visiting the temple to find a small corner for watching the sunset and enjoy the peace of mind are also interesting experiences for visitors.

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