Young Pioneer Tours

Bagan – the “Sea of Temples”

by Andy Khong

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). It was the capital of the Bagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th centuries and is home to over 2,000 ancient Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries, making it an archaeological site with the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist monuments in the world.

The temples and pagodas in Bagan were built over a period of 230 years, between the 11th and 13th centuries, by various kings and their subjects. They vary in size and style, with some small and simple, and others large and elaborate. They are made of brick and stucco, and many are adorned with intricate carvings and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha and other religious stories.

Some of the most interesting and popular temples in Bagan are:

  1. Ananda Temple: The Ananda Temple is one of the most impressive and well-preserved temples in Bagan. It was built in the 12th century and is a masterpiece of Mon architecture. The temple is known for its four standing Buddha images and beautiful carvings and paintings.
  1. Shwezigon Pagoda: The Shwezigon Pagoda is one of the most important religious sites in Bagan. It was built in the 11th century and is believed to enshrine a tooth and bone relics of Buddha. The pagoda is surrounded by smaller temples and pagodas, and it is particularly beautiful at sunset.
  2. Dhammayangyi Temple: The Dhammayangyi Temple is one of the largest and most imposing temples in Bagan. It was built in the 12th century and is known for its massive brick structure and mysterious interior. Legend has it that the temple was built by a cruel king who killed his own brother to become the ruler of Bagan.
  3. Sulamani Temple: The Sulamani Temple is a beautiful temple built in the late 12th century. It is known for its exquisite brickwork and delicate carvings, and it is a popular spot for sunrise and sunset views.
  4. Thatbyinnyu Temple: The Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest temple in Bagan, standing at over 60 meters tall. It was built in the 12th century and is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Visitors to Bagan can explore the temples and pagodas by foot, bicycle, or even hot air balloon, which offers a breathtaking aerial view of the entire area. They can also visit local villages, markets, and workshops to learn more about the traditional arts and crafts of the region.

Ananda Temple
Shwezigon Pagoda
Dhammayangyi Temple
Sulamani Temple
Thatbyinnyu Temple

Bagan is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is a popular tourist destination for its historical and cultural significance, as well as its stunning architecture and picturesque landscapes. It is a place where you can spend several days exploring the temples and pagodas, and discovering their unique histories and architectural styles.

Read about Borobudur, another magnificent archaeological site in south-east Asia: 

For details on tours to Myanmar.  

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