Destination in Bagan
Bagan is the chief tourist attraction
situated on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy river in the dry
central plains of the country. Temples, pagodas and religious
ancient monuments of all sizes and shapes are scattered all over
In the 11th century, king Anawrahta founded the First Myanmar
Empire in the Bagan period. Thanks to his effort, Theravara
Buddhism flourishes in the country today. Several temples and
pagodas of Bagan period still remain until today as an open-air
museum, the biggest archaeological site in Southeast Asia.
With over 2000 temples and monuments of the 11th to 13th century
built in the traditional styles of ancient Myanmar architecture
can boast of its richest archaeological site in the whole of
Southeast Asia. The main product of Bagan is lacquerware making
the best quality in Myanmar and produced nearby villages in
Bagan. An outstanding among Myanmar handicrafts, foreigners
interest and like lacquerware because of hand making.
Shwezigon, the most prominent stupa is now
located in Nyaung Oo. It was built by King Anawrahta who left it
in an unfinished state and the pagoda was completed by his
successor King Kyansittha. This golden pagoda is prototype and
an ideal model of later Myanmar stupas. It is a solid,
cylindrical structure resting on three square terraces and the
best example of Bagan period which shows the high-point of
Myanmar stupa architecture.
The lofty Ananda Temple was built by King
Kyansittha after the Shwezigon Pagoda. It is one of the largest
and an architectural masterpiece of the early style temple.
There are four huge Buddha images in the standing position on
each side of the niches facing the entrance. The Buddha images
represent the four Buddhas who had already attained
Enlightenment. Ananda is full of architectural beauties and the
terraces are decorated with glazed tiles showing Jakata scenes (
the life stories of the Buddha). The beautiful temple is the
gracious and enrich artistic works with the excellent
Built by king Alaungsithu in the mid 12th
century, Thatbyinnyu is the highest temple that overtops all the
other monuments in Bagan archaeological zone. The white
structure, Thatbyinnu meaning the 'Omniscience of the Buddha '
rises to a height of 61 metres and one of the four significant
monuments in Bagan. Thatbyinnyu is one of the earliest double-storeyed
temples and transitional of later temples. Above the main
building, there are three terraces embellished with
crenellations and corner stupas. Visitors can enjoy the
landscape of Bagan and a good view of the majestic Ayeyarwady
river from the terraces of the Thatbyinnu
Built by King Narathu, Dhammayangyi is well
known for its massive structure. The brick bondage system is
excellent with the finest brick-work and that no pin-point is
possibly shared in the mortar interposed between every two layer
of brick. The construction was never completed for the king was
assassinated while the construction of the temple was in
progress. The mile-stone of Bagan monument zone, the incomplete
Dhammayangyi is hard to see beautiful architecture, but it could
bear the natural disasters in the course of time due to its
Gubyaukgyi Temple (Wetkyi-inn)
Gubyaukgyi Temple is lied near Wetkyi-inn
village between Bagan and Nyaung Oo. Gubyaukkyi with a spire
resembling the Mahabodhi temple of India is noted for its fine
fresco depicting scenes from the Jakatas ( life stories of the
Buddha ) painted on the interior walls. Decorated with fine
fresco paintings regarded as one of the excellent, Gubyaukgyi is
well provided with natural light and ventilation.
This graceful edifice from the 13th century
is one of the highest temples in Bagan. It was built by king
Narapatisithu in order to commemorate the ceremony of paying
homage to the images of his ancestors. Gawdawpalin means '
Throne of Obeisance ' and it was a relief for the king to be
able to seek pardon for insulting to his forefathers. This
temple was left in an unfinished state by king Narapatisithu and
it was completed by his son, King Htilominlo. Gawdawpalin is a
double-storeyed temple of late Bgan period with a fine view of
the Bagan plains.
It is one of the major interesting sites
located on the bank of Ayeyarwady river. The small pagoda in the
shape of a gourd is resting on a base rock that looks like a
gourd and that it was named Bupaya meaning ' Gourd Pagoda '. The
original pagoda was broken down to sink in the river by a severe
earthquake. So it was reconstructed in the shape and size of the
original. Bupaya is one of the best places to enjoy the sunset
view with a fine scenery against the natural background.
A two-storey building of modern architecture
with traditional design is located near the Gawdawpalin Temple.
A large number of collection of various archaeological items
found in Bagan monuments such as Buddha statues of various
styles and postures, wood and stone carvings, stone
inscriptions, impressive paintings, the arts and handicrafts of
Bagan period and other fine art works are on display there
together with the fossils of bone and fauna of pre-historic
ages. Bagan Museum is the best place to witness a number of
historical artifacts and cultural interest and masterpieces of
excavated objects housed in the building.
A great extinct volcano, Mt.Popa is known as
' Oasis of Dry zone ', about 50km away from Bagan. Over 5000
feet above sea level. Mt. Popa is the centre of god or spirit
worship in Myanmar. The goddess of Popa known as Popa Mother
lives on the crest and she looks after women and the family and
much loved by her worshippers.
Mt. Popa is a national park with the natural exotic flowers,
orchids and springs and designated as a forest reserve. A
constant supply of water and minerals keeping it green and lush
at all times. Popa is the most romantic and exotic region in
Myanmar. The lovely hill is thickly wooded and the trees grow
abundantly in the surrounding woods and it abounds in medicinal
roots and herbs. Mt.Popa is worth a visit for those who are
seeking to spend their vacation in a place with the comfort and
the unspoiled nature and take refuge from heat in summer.
Pakokku is the typical Myanmar trading town
situated on the western bank of Ayeyarwaddy river in central
Myanmar. With big monasteries and well known pagodas, the town
is famous for a colourful weaving industry, cheroot industry and
produce rice, beans and tobacco and virginia tobacco plantations
are thriving there. Over 100 years old wood carved monastery and
many other ancient religious monuments can be seen in Pakokku.
Salay ( Sale)
Salay is a town lying on the eastern bank of
Ayeyarwaddy river. This town produces famous plums called Salay
Plum which are seedless and good quality. The most reputed one '
The Sale Yok Sone Kyaung ' is an all-teak monastery and it is
one of the most beautiful in the country. Carvings with
traditional motifs and the figures with varying postures of the
Jakata ( life stories of the Buddha )and ordinary people are on
display in the monastery.