Ancient Bagan

Ananta Pagoda (photo by Maia Coen) Bagan is one of those places in the world travelers really should find the time and means to experience.  The sheer volume of temples is enough to inspire a visit.  Numbering more than 4000, the temples range from small crumbling stupas scattered on farms to beautifully maintained or refurbished active temples.

Ananta temple Buddha statue (photo by Maia Coen)

Unless you plan to stay for weeks to explore you have to pick and choose. We began with the centerpiece of Old Bagan - Ananda Pahto.  It is over 900 years old and soars 170 feet into the sky.  The profile reveals a central, golden, corncob-shaped tower, flanked at the corners by four bright red pinnacles.  The temple boasts a Greek cross plan, built of white-grey sandstone with lower levels lavishly decorated by colored, glazed tiles. Facing outward from each side of the square interior shrine are four 31-foot tall standing Buddha statues.  Nearby is the equally pleasing Khay Min Gha Phaya with its many spires.  We also visited:  Shwe Zigon Zeti, a round Shwedegon-like golden stupa temple.

Shwe Zigon Zeti temple

Manucha Phaya with its three tightly wedged, seated Buddha statues.

Bagan Buddha statue (photo by Maia Coen)

Thatbyinnyu - Bagan’s tallest pagoda.

That Byinnyu temple (photo by Maia Coen)

The massive, pyramid style Dhammayangyi Pahto.

For sunset - Shwesandaw Phaya.

Pyat That Gyi

Other Bagan highlights:

(photo by Maia Coen)

Myanmar handicrafts

Beginnings of public education

More public education