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Top 5 ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan, Myanmar

30/03/2020 372 Views
Anyone who has the passion to explore the mystical beauty of Myanmar when arriving in Bagan can’t fail to visit the monuments of ancient monuments left here. The Buddhist temples that stand along the flow of time are the testimony to the dynasties and Buddhist culture in Myanmar.

1. Ananda Temple

Built in the ancient capital of Bagan, Myanmar, Ananda is a well-known and long-standing Buddhist temple. Despite the many years and ups and downs of history, the architecture of the temple has remained largely intact to this day. The temple is designed in the style of a stupa with a characteristic, stone architecture with a small chapel inside. The architecture of the cross, in the center is the cube and on each side is the statue of Buddha standing impressed with visitors from the first sight.

Ananda Temple - One of the Four Main Temples Remaining in Bagan
Ananda Temple - One of the Four Main Temples Remaining in Bagan

Ananda Temple is considered Myanmar's symbol for the boundless wisdom of the Buddha. With its deep meaning and special architecture, the Ananda Temple is a must-see if you can come to Bagan.


2. Thatbyinnyu Temple

Thatbyinnyu Temple was built in the mid-12th century and is considered the highest Buddhist temple in Bagan. From the outside, the massive Thatbyinnyu temple, whitewashed, looks like a Renaissance Christian monastery in Europe. Inside the temple there are long corridors, arranged altars with Buddha statues in various postures and shapes, but all are inlaid with gold.

Thatbyinnyu Temple - Soul of Buddhism in the Ancient Bagan
Thatbyinnyu Temple - Soul of Buddhism in the Ancient Bagan

According to legend, Thatbyinnyu Temple is a treasure trove of murals reflecting Myanmar Buddhism. However, because of the restoration of white lime to scan the wall should have covered the painting.


3. Shwesandaw Shrine

If you zoom in from a distance, you can easily feel the Shwesandaw Temple looks like an Egyptian pyramid, with four sides, five floors and a stupa (bell tower) on the top. Legend has it that the temple was built by King Anawrahta in 1057 to preserve the relics as one of the eight hairs of Buddha Shakyamuni brought back from India in early AD.

Shwesandaw temple at the archaeological site of Bagan on Myanmar
Shwesandaw temple at the archaeological site of Bagan on Myanmar

The special feature of the Shwesandaw Shrine is four brick stairs on four sides, each with five floors. For visitors and pilgrims can climb the balcony overhead, they have a rigid line of iron tubes to the right of the stairs so that visitors easily climb because the stairs are quite steep and narrow.


4. Dhammayangyi Temple

Due to the short distance, after visiting the Shwesandaw Temple, visitors can easily move to Dhammayangyi Temple. Temples have gates and brick walls surrounded by many broken walls. It is said that six million bricks were used to build the temple, and today Dhammayangyi is considered the largest Buddhist temple in Bagan.

Dhammayangyi temple - Largest temple on the plains of Bagan
Dhammayangyi temple - Largest temple on the plains of Bagan

Unlike other temples, Dhammayangyi does not have a spire at the center of the tower hanging from a wind chime like the temples of Myanmar. Due to the mysterious history of this temple, local residents often call this a "ghost temple", where many bat species, crows and their waste make the temple smell bad.


5. Sulamani Temple

The Sulamani Temple lay between the empty fields, built by the Sultan II in 1183. It is home to some mural paintings, but like the Thatbyinnyu Temple, Tu, the ancient characteristics of the temple has lost much.

Sulamani Temple - Bagan Myanmar
Sulamani Temple - Bagan Myanmar

Along the two entrances to the temple, people sell handcrafted souvenirs for Myanmar visitors, mostly sand sculptures and carved wooden statues. Ananda Temple, Sulamani Temple has four sides overlooking four directions, connected by wide corridors, each side has a shrine to worship Buddha, along the corridor there are niches, each niche is a shrine to the Buddha.
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