Thursday, March 1, 2018

Must visit temples in Bagan, Myanmar

I've covered Bagan, Myanmar a couple of years ago with a bunch of great friends and due to time limitation, we missed out horse cart riding and catching the magnificent sunrise in #Bagan (with hot air balloon flying over 2500 pagodas and temples). You can't imagine how ecstatic I was when I learnt that the activities we are about to do are this 2 items. The truth is, I can never be bored with Myanmar, despite that I have been here, I am still in awe and so many things and places that I have missed out. I am not surprise if I am still as impressed in my future trip here. Yeah, I foresee another trip here. Definitely.

For those curious few, the horse cart price for half day is K15,000 and K25,000 for full day, this is also highly depending on the season. The carts can be shared between 2-3 person. The question is whether is it worth it? My answer is : YES!

Ananda Pahto Temple

Revered as Bagan’s first of the great temples, Ananda Pahto Temple also boast as one of the most largest and most beautiful. Built between 1090-1105 by King Kyansittha, Ananda Pahto Temple; is a Mon and Indian architecture wonder in #Bagan. It is said to be the finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of all Bagan temples. Ananda Pahto Temple was damaged during the 2016 earthquake and has since gone through restoration.

This beautifully symmetrical temple was also a monastery hence there are few buildings within the enclosure wall. Source says that ‘Six terraces rise pyramid-like to the central tower. The lower terraces have a complete numbered set of 537 Jataka plaques (scenes from the lives of the Buddha) in Pali; the upper terraces have a set of 375 Mon language plaques depicting the last ten Jataka. Including those on the interior, this is the largest Bagan collection of terracotta tiles.’

Jātaka  : It is a literature native to India concerning the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form. Jātakas are amongst the earliest Buddhist literature.

There are also four 30-foot-tall gilded teak standing Buddhas, each Buddha face the four cardinal directions. According to the local, it represents the enlightenment received in the present world cycle. Out of the four Buddhas, only the Bagan-style images facing north and south are original as the other two were destroyed in the 1600s by fire.

Shwezigon Pagoda

Circular gold leaf-gilded stupa surrounded by smaller temples and shrines what makes Shwezigon Pagoda distinctive. Similar to other pagoda, the bell-shaped stupa was influenced by the culture of the Mon people. They were the earliest peoples to reside in Southeast Asia, they were responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Indochina.

King Anawrahta builts Shwezigon Pagoda to be a massive reliquary to holds a collection of relics, including the Buddha's frontal and collar bones, a copy of the tooth relic at Kandy, Sri Lanka, and an emerald Buddha image from China. Its beautiful staircases, gates, and a richly ornamented spire fitted with a large golden umbrella type finial embedded with gems, Shwezigon Pagoda is noted as the prototype for many other stupas across Myanmar.

Dhammayangyi Temple

This Dhammayangyi Temple is infamous for its mysterious, bricked-up inner passageways and cruel history. It was built to atone King Narathu own sins: he smothered his father and brother to death and executed one of his wives, an Indian princess, for practising Hindu rituals.

Aside from being the largest and widest of all the temples in Bagan, tragically the king was assassinated by Sinhalese invaders hence the temple was not completed. It is a heart-rending story as cruelty upon cruelty in the process of erecting this magnificent temple, it is also said that King Narathu commanded that the temple to be mortar-less, hence bricks are fitted together so tightly that even a pin couldn’t pass between two bricks. Those who failed had their arms chopped off. This can be validated and seen as one enters from the west gate, there are stones with arm-sized grooves that are said where amputations allegedly happened.

Rich in culture,  a site to behold and very instagrammable huh!

So, what are you guys waiting for?
Head to Myanmar now!

1st ASEAN Media & Bloggers Fam Trip in collaboration with Myanmar Travel Bloggers Club and Tourism Myanmar

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...