Bagan was founded in the 9th century by the Burmese in central Burma and destroyed by the Mongols in 1287. Bagan is one of the most noteworthy places in Myanmar. In ancient times, there were about 13 thousand places of worship here, and they were built over 200 years. Now on an area of 42 sq. km you can see about 5 thousand perfectly preserved temples, pagodas and stupas.
To the old city of Bagan lead the Taraban gate. Only ruins remained of them, among which are two small temples on both sides of the gate, built in honor of the deities Mahagiri and Shvemyatna.
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, the most famous building in Bagan is the Shwezigon Pagoda. It was erected in 1057 by King Anorahta, the founder of the royal dynasty of Burma. The pagoda is covered in gold and surrounded by many small temples and stupas. The bone and tooth of the Buddha is kept here.
The massive Dhammayangyi temple was built in the second half of the 12th century. Many passages of the temple were littered, so it is impossible to go there. Thatbyinnyu temple is the tallest in Bagan, its height is 61 m. Inside it is a whole labyrinth of passages.
The Ananda Temple (1091) is now one of the best preserved examples of Mon architecture. Lokananda Temple (Lawkananda) was built in 1059 on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. An exact copy of the Buddha’s tooth is kept here, which was sent by the king of Sri Lanka and today is located in the Shwezigon pagoda. The Shwesanda Temple was built in 1058 under King Anavrata to house the Buddha’s hair donated by the King of Bago State. The Manuha temple was built in the middle of the 11th century under the Mon king Manuha, who at that time was imprisoned in Bagan. The temple has three sculptures of a sitting Buddha and one reclining, which are placed in small rooms, which symbolizes Manuha’s suffering in prison.
The Shwegugyi temple began to be built in 1131 under King Alaungsitu, and after construction was completed, it was dedicated to Alaungsitu, who was killed by his son in 1163. Gubyaukgi
Temple(The Gubyaukgyi Temple of Myinkaba) was built in 1113 by Rajakumar, son of King Kyansitta, at a place called Myinkaba. According to legend, Rajakumara gave birth to a woman named Tambula, who was later proclaimed queen by Kyansitta. He gave her three villages, which were inherited by Rajakumaru. It was on them that Rajakumar built a temple in honor of his father. Under Queen Tambula, a temple of the same name was built, which is considered one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan. There is another Gubyaukgyi Temple of Wetkyi-in at The Gubyaukgyi Temple. It was built in the middle of the 13th century and has a pyramidal shape. The Payathonzu
temple complex consists of three pagodas that were built at the end of the 12th century. One of them was never completed.
Htilominlo Temple was built in the 13th century and was named after the king under whom it was built.
The brick temple of Shinbinthalyaung contains the largest statue of the reclining Buddha in Bagan, its length is 18 m . temples. Sulamani Temple was built by King Narapatisitu. It consists of two parts – lower and upper, along which corridors with niches for Buddha statues are laid. A staircase leads from the lower floor to the upper one. Pagoda Mingalazedi was built in 1274 and was one of the last built before the Mongol invasion.
In Bagan, you can see many pagodas, but there are very few monasteries left, apparently because they were mainly built of wood. The best preserved monastery is Upali. It was built of brick and named after a famous monk from the early 13th century. In addition to religious buildings in Bagan, the Archaeological Museum with an extensive collection of medieval history is interesting.
60 km southeast of Bagan lies the sacred mountain of Popa. which is surrounded by a natural park. It is a place of worship and pilgrimage for the locals. According to legend, the spirits of nature live on Mount Popa. Spirit statues are presented in the monastery, which stands on the very top of the mountain at an altitude of 1518 m above sea level. The slopes of Mount Popa are covered with dry forests, where such rare monkeys as the smoky lagur live.
Mandalay is located 145 km northeast of Bagan. It is the country’s second largest city and its last royal capital. Mandalay was founded by King Mindon Min in 1857. Mandalay hill rises above the city240 m high. It is located northeast of the city center. On the hill there is a complex of buildings, which is surrounded by a wall and consists of pagodas and other places of worship. There are almost 2,000 steps leading up to the hill, but you can also go up the escalator or drive up by bus or car. The entrance to the territory of the royal residence is guarded by two sculptures of lions.
Another attraction of Mandalay is the Mahamuni Pagoda (Mahar Myat Muni). She is known for her four-meter statue of the Buddha, covered with gold. This is one of the most revered Buddha statues in Mandalay.. At the entrance to the pagoda, small gold plates are sold that can be rubbed into the statue. Every day, many believers come here to touch the Buddha and leave a golden plate on it. From such love for God, the statue gradually begins to lose shape, but the monks constantly monitor it and periodically clean it.
The excursion program around Mandalay necessarily includes a visit to the Kuthodaw Pagoda , because it contains the largest book in the world, weighing more than 1200 tons. The book includes 729 marble pavilions containing pages of the Tripitaka carved in marble. The carving of the Tripitaka began in 1860 and was completed only in 1869.
Not far from Kuthodo is Sadamuni Pagoda . (Sandamuni), which also contains stone slabs with Buddhist texts. Also of interest is the Shwenandaw Monastery, the only building that has survived from the once huge palace of King Mindon Ming. It is an example of 19th century architecture and is made of teak wood.
In addition to the numerous city pagodas, stupas and temples, be sure to go to the suburbs of Mandalay, where the ancient capitals of the country are located. The wooden bridge in Amarapura across the lake is very popular. The bridge was built in 1850. This is the longest teak bridge in the world, its length is 1.2 km. The city of Amarapura in the 18th century was the capital of the state. Now here are the tombs of two famous kings – Bigyado and Bodapaya. 21 km from Mandalay the city of Inva is located, once Ava. It was founded as the capital of the state in 1364. The monastery of Borgaya (The Grand Bargaya) is interesting here, which is decorated with outdoor arabesques, carvings, figures of birds and animals. Another ancient capital of Myanmar is Sagain. Today – this city has become one of the most popular centers for meditation.
11 km from Mandalay up the Irrawaddy River, the city of Mingun is interesting. The world-famous Mingun Stupa is located here. (Mingun). Its construction began in 1791, but was never completed. The Mingun Stupa was supposed to be the highest in the world, in the project its height reached 150 m. But astrologers predicted the death of King Bodopaya, under whom the pagoda was being built, soon after the completion of construction and in 1813 the construction stopped. Now the height of the pagoda reaches 50 m, as a result of earthquakes, cracks appeared on its walls. In Mingun there is also a smaller copy of the Mingun stupa – the Pondawya pagoda. Under King Bodopaya, a giant bronze bell weighing 90 tons was built in Mingun. This is the largest “ringing” bell on Earth. Very beautiful Sinbyume Pagoda (Hsinbyume) (1816). It is surrounded by seven wavy terraces, which symbolize the seven mountain ranges surrounding the sacred Mount Meru.