BAGAN (City of First Emperor)

Shwezigone Pagoda

Gold gilded graceful bell shape stupa. It is a prototype for virtually all later stupas over Myanmar. The stupa sits on three rising terraces. Enameled plaques in panels around the base of the stupa illustrate scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha. At the cardinal points, facing the terrace stairways, are four shrines, each of which houses a 4m-high bronze standing Buddha cast in 1102, these figures are Bagan largest surviving bronze Buddhas. Surrounding the stupa are clusters of rest houses and shrines, some of them old, others more modern, though none of them is original. In addition to ranking as one of the oldest stupas in Bagan, Shwezigon is known as the site where the 37 pre-Buddhist nats were first officially endorsed by the Bamar monarchy. Figures of the 37 nats can be seen in a shed to the south-east of the platform.

Ananda Temple

One of the finest, largest and best preserved of the Bagan temples, the Ananda suffered considerable damage in 1975 earthquake and in 1979 reconstruction took place. Built in 1091 by Kyanzittha, the temple is said to represent the endless wisdom of the Buddha. The central square has sides of 53 metres (175 feet) and rises in terraces to a hit 51 metres (168 feet) above the ground. In the center of the cube, four standing Buddhas, nine and a half metres (30 feet) high, represent the four Buddhas who have attained Nirvana. Only those facing north and south are original, the east and west facing images are replacements for the figures destroyed by fires. The base and the terraces are decorated with a great number of glazed tiles showing scenes from the Jataka. In the western sanctum, there are life size statues of the temple's founder and his Primate, while in the west porch there are two footprints of the Lord Buddha, on pedestals.

Thatbyinnyu Temple

The highest temple in Bagan, the "omniscient" temple rises to 61 metres (200 feet) and was built by Alaungsithu around the mid-12th century. Repairs to earthquake damage were being completed in 1979. Slightly south-west of the Thatbyinnyu in a monastery compound there is stone supports which once held the temple's huge bronze bell. Northeast of the temple stands a small "tally pagoda" which was built of one brick for every 10,000 bricks used in the main temple.

Dhammayangyi Temple

It was built by King Narathu (1160-65) and famous for the most massive. Since the story of the King Narathu and the temple is very interesting. Dhammayangyi temple is one of the famous temples in Bagan, which one should visit without fail.

Kyansittha Umin

Kyanzittha Umin, built into a cliff face close to the Shwezigon, the long, dimly lit corridors are decorated with frescoes and 12th century mural painting. There are small meditation cellars. Unlike other caves in Bagan which were caved into the sand stone hill, this U Min is built of brick.

Lawkananda Pagoda

Lawkananda pagoda, distinctive elongated cylindrical dome shape, located on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, was built in 1059 by King Anawrahta. The pagoda has enshrined the Buddha's tooth relic in Bagan. The riverside view from Lawkananda are unforgettable scenes.

Tharaba Gateway

The ruins of Tharaba Gateway (also known as Sarabha Gateway), on the eastern side, are all that remain of the old 9th century city wall. Traces of old stucco can still be seen on the gateway. The gate is guarded by highly revered brother and sister nats, the male (Lord Handsome) on the right, the female (Lady Golden face) on the left.


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