Temples in Bagan

Temples of Asia | | May 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm


Bagan is located in the Mandalay Division of Burma on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarady River. The region was under the rule of the Pagan Kingdom and the Kings constructed over 13,000 temples, pagodas and other religious monuments. After almost seven centuries only 2,200 temples have survived the floods, earthquakes and treasure hunters.

Some of the key temples in Bagan are:

Ananda Temple Bagan

Ananda Temple

The temple was constructed in 1091 AD by King Kyanzittha and is modeled after the Nandamula cave. The temple construction has influences of Indian architectural styles and is 51 meters in height. The temple has four standing statues of Lord Buddha which have been covered in gold leaf.

Gawdawpalin Temple Bagan

Gawdawpalin Temple

The temple was constructed in the 12th century by King Narapatisithu and is the second highest temple in Bagan with a height of 60 meters. The temple had to go through restoration work as it was damaged in the 1975 earthquake.

Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan

Dhammayangyi Temple

It is the largest temple in Bagan and a structure which could never be completed as its patron King Narathu was assassinated in the temple itself. The temple is built on a plan similar to that of the Ananda Temple.

Shwezigon Pagoda Bangla

Shwezigon Pagoda

It is probably the most beautiful monument in Bagan and is dedicated to the Theravada faith of Buddhism. The construction of the pagoda was started by King Anawrahta and completed in the reign of King Kyanzittha. The pagoda is bell shaped and is gilded with gold leaf and enshrines the tooth, hair and bones of Gautama Buddha. The pagoda at it highest point reaches as height of 160 feet and has a square base of 160 feet on each side. The pagoda also contains four 11 foot high Gupta-style standing bronze statues of the four Buddha’s who attained enlightenment in this world.

Mahabodhi Temple Bagan

Mahabodhi Temple

The temple is modeled after the famous Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, India and was built in mid 1200’s. The temple has a pyramidal tower which is set on a quadrilateral base. It is unique amongst all Bagan monuments due to its extensive exterior ornamentation. The temple has 450 Buddha images at various places including the tower, on the corner stupas and on the exterior walls of the two story base.

The best way to reach Bagan is by taking a flight to Nyaung Oo airport which is well connected to other south east Asian destinations.

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1 Comment

  1. vareeja says:

    The Ananada temple was damaged in the earthquake of 1975. However, it has been fully restored and is well maintained by frequent painting and whitewashing of the walls. On the occasion of 900th anniversary of its construction celebrated in 1990 the temple spires were gilded. It is a highly revered temple of Bagan

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