Myanmar's premier attraction, the stunning ancient site of Bagan (aka Pagan), backed by the Irrawaddy River.
Few ancient sites in the world have such incredible panoramic views
or great sunrises and sunsets like Burma's Bagan (formerly
Bagan is set in one of the world's most peaceful rural locations and
is one of the three best Buddhist archaeological sites in the world, along with Angkor (Cambodia) and Borobudur (Indonesia).
Myanmar Pictures | Myanmar Map | Bagan Travel Guide
Thousands of tourists still come here every year - in spite of the disgraceful government - but quickly disappear into this 40 sq km
(16 sq miles) mass of 2,500 pagodas and stupas built between the 11th and 13th centuries, surrounded by the Irrawaddy River (aka Ayeyarwaddy), peanut and sesame fields.
Horse carts and bicycles are the best transport systems in Bagan. Walking is good but distances are great.
It's not difficult to feel alone here, except at the best sunset spots, but even then, sitting on a temple, watching the shadows lengthen and
the oxcarts trundle home, Bagan (aka Pagan) is simply
Bagan is probably not included in UNESCO's World heritage sites
for due to Myanmar's unsavoury government and their erratic restoration procedures.
Ananda Temple, built in 1090.
The most interesting of Bagan's many religious structures is the massive Ananda Temple, a double-terrace pagoda that represents the infinite wisdom of Buddha. King Kyanzittha was so delighted with the temple design that he had the architect executed to avoid any possibility of competition. The building is decorated with 1,424 different statues of Buddha.
The south-facing Buddha in Ananda Temple, one of the two original buddhas.
Among many other statues in Ananda are four large standing Buddhas facing the four points of the compass and representing nirvana. The south facing one pictured looks sad from close up but cheerful from a distance.
temples have a murals or glazed
tiles like this one of thousands on Ananda's terraces depicting scenes from Jataka tales of Buddha's previous lives in India.
A very relaxed, some might say zonked, Buddha. Next, more Bagan Pictures.
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