Bagan – An Ancient Wonder in the Modern World

 

Visit Bagan and Journey into the Past

 

The Bagan archaeological zone, Located in central Myanmar on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River is truly a sight that will take your breath away. The temples and pagodas that are located here are some of the oldest monuments in South-east Asia, with some of them pre-dating Angkor Wat by almost two hundred years.

 Irrawaddy River Bagan
The Irrawaddy River which serves as the western border of the Bagan archeological zone.

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We visited some of the largest and oldest structures in Bagan. Erosion and natural disasters have continued to take their toll on the monuments over the centuries, forcing the government to make continuous efforts at restoration.
For this reason, you might not be able to see all you would like to of the monuments. But, we still have to applaud the efforts of the restoration teams in preserving these magnificent monuments for future generations.
Bagan Myanmar
2,229 temples and pagodas still remain within the 104 square kilometers of Bagan.
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Ananda Temple

Bagan, Myanmar is a Buddhist temple built in 1105 AD during the reign (1084–1113) of King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty. It is one of the four largest surviving temples in Bagan. On its 900th anniversary the 5 spires of the temple were gilded.

Ananda Temple Bagan Myanmar
The entrance to the over 900 year-old Ananda Temple.

It also holds four of the most magnificent, gilded, standing Buddha images in existence. Each Buddha faces a different direction. Kakusandha – North, Kassapa – South, Konagamana – East and Gautama – West are truly worth the visit to this temple.
Ananda Temple Bagan Myanmar
One of four standing Buddhas situated inside Anada Temple.

Shwezigon Pagoda

Located close to Bagan in the Shwe- Zigon settlement in the town of Nyaung-U, this pagoda is believed to house a bone and a tooth of Buddha.

Shwezigon Pagoda
The copper-plated Shwezigon Pagoda.

Construction of the Shwezigon Pagoda was completed in 1102 AD. Erosion and damage from earthquakes have forced countless restorations over the centuries. In of the most recent renovations, it was covered with over 30,000 copper plates.

Shwesandaw Pagoda

The pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1057 AD, making it one of the oldest pagodas in Myanmar. Enshrined within the pagoda are some sacred hairs of Buddha.

Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan Myanmar
Shwesandaw Pagoda while sustaing damage over the centuries, is still magnificent.

The original crown of the pagoda, called a hti, was toppled in the earthquake of 1975 and is still on display on the far side of the pagoda grounds. You can only view the pagoda from ground level as the stairways have been closed to prevent further erosion and damage to the pagoda.
Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan Myanmar
Visitors are unable to ascend the stairs of Shwesandaw Pagoda to protect it from further erosion.

Thatbyinnyu Temple

This is the tallest Buddhist temple in Bagan and soars to 61 meters measured from the ground to the top of its spire. The temple dates from 1144 AD. It was one of the first temples built in Bagan that was more than a single story.

Thatbyinnyu Temple
Thatbinnyu Temple is the tallest structure in Bagan.

The temple is square, with each of its sides being about 58 meters long. The temple is made out of stucco-coated brick and each of the receding terraces has small stupas in each of their four corners.
Bagan Myanmar
Many of the temples and pagodas of Bagan are currently undergoing restoration work.
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