Bagan

bagan01Regardless of natural disasters like earthquakes, neighbouring countries' invation or burglars in pursuit of treasure moulded inside the Buddha stupas, Bagan endures as one of the most prominent ancient religious sites around the world. Laying on about forty square kilometre's plain, backing with some blurry, grey mountains in distance, you can enjoy a colourful,picturesque view of more than 2,200 ruin temples amid green and dusty plains.

Touring around Bagan by sitting on the traditional horse-cart or riding bicycle which can be rented at a number of rental services available in different parts in Bagan will give you an opportunity to learn the prestige monuments in enough time as well as to explore the beautiful countryside surrounded by. It is not perfect visiting Bagan without tracing down to its history which is full of interesting, attractive and historic evidences reflecting Myanmar's once famous society.

It is said that the Kingdom of Bagan was established as early as in 2 A.D but its prosperity started booming in 1057 AD with the victory achieved by King Anawrahta (1044 – 1077), the founder of first ever Burma Kingdom, over Thaton, Mon's capital. With the influence of genuine Theravada and assistance of Mon craftsmen and atisans, more than 13,000 temples, pagodas and other religious monuments were built since King Anawrahta's era until 1287 when Bagan was invaded by Kublai Khan. You may know the events behind the curtains such as heir deprive among royal society, invasion or internal conflict inside majestic families by tracking down the traces remaining on each and every monuments matching with what you have recorded in your heart.

bagan02Addition to this, you will be amazed to see the architectural design to be in line with accquring natural daylight and weather endure. If you want to know more about captivated King Manuha who was Anawrahta as well as a retainer, modeling after the legendary Nandmula cave in the Himalaya mountains with the guidance of eight monks travelled down from the cave showing the cave's mythical feature. The king became fond of the feature and enthused to build a cool place amid Bagan's dusty plain and Ananda was built.

Once you entered that mysterious temple, you will be amazed to see the lighting system which was stolen down from daylight although the whole temple seems having no place to absorb the light and you will see the facial expression differences of a standing stupa which faces south. If you look it at the front, its face look sad but from a distant, it will represent joyful, those are as a matter of artistic skill of the architect. Among the four stupas, two were replaced due to the fire and only southern and northern are genuine.

No matter or what, the temple is regarded as one of the finest, well-preserved and a trace of Mon architectural designs. Mon culture and artifacts, one of the basic supports in Bagan era can be found most of the temples in the area, one obvious evident is Shwezigon Paya which was started by King Anawrahtta and finished by King Kyanzittha in 1089. At its western entrance, the original stone inscription written in Mon Language, dedicated by King Kyanzittha can be seen. King Anawrahtta built with the intention of enshrining Buddha's relics but you can still learn 11th century anamnestic themes at the pagoda's architectural designs.

bagan03Not only that pagoda, King Kyanzittha built a new palace in AD 1101 and finished in AD 1102. He left an engraved brought back by King Anawrahta from Thaton in 1057AD along with Theravada Buddhist canon, Manuha Temple is a place to visit. Most assumed that the temple reflects the feelings of stress ans lack of comfort that King Manuha had to abide. Built in 1067, the enclosure inside the temple is too small for one giant sitting Buddha Statue and two smaller sitting Buddhas resulting cramped and uncomfortable atmosphere, even creates insufficient space to pray for devotees. But, exceptionally, the gigantic Buddha's face wears a smile as well as a grim. Following the King's path, his relatives_ queens, princes and princesses built pagodas in different sizes-large and small.

A renown temple in Bagan is Ananda Temple which is comprised of four standing stupas of four different ages. The temple was built by King Kyanzittha (1084 - 1112) who is the son of King inscription accounting on the uilding function of the palace. In the inscription, the word 'Myanmar ' first originated with 'Mon' and 'Pyu'. The 61-metre long Thatbinnyu Temple built by King Alaungsithu (1113-1167 ), the grandson and successor of King Kyanzittha, in 1140AD, is a venue worthy to learn as it is the highest temple in the site. But, it mainly attracts local pilgrimages includes some monks. The tallest building was buily by the pitiful King who was killed by his son, King Narathu in pursuit of confiscating his throne.

bagan04Although he could defeat the rebellions in north and far south, he was pitiful for having sons who planned a court intrigue upon him. Another temple which was built by King Alaungsithu in 1131 AD on 3-metre-high foundation is Shwegugyi Temple where he was forced to end his life by his son, some legends suggested. The temple with its eye-catching arched window was built within seven months.

The biggest temple in Bagan is Dhamayangyi, built by the King named Narathu(1167-1170) who was famed for his cruelty killing his own fatherand wife who was an Indian emperor's daughter. It is not too difficult to find the temple as it stands prominently and can be seen from the distance.

King Narathu's reign lasted only for three years but he was able to carry out building such a big temple in such short period. The king was not only cruel to his intimates but also for his citizens as he ordered to cut the masons if he found out a pin can be pushed between two bricks. According to legends, afterward, he was assassinated by Indians as revenge of their princess. You may savour the scenic beauty of sunrise appears from the mountains in distant sitting by the Sulamni Temple built by King Naraparisithu (1139 – 1210),a grandson of King Alaungsithu. You can also spend time capturing one the world's splendid sunset beauty from 60-metre Gadawpalin Temple built by the same king who could established Burmese script as the primary script and inscription writers first applied the term Mranma (the Burmese). If you wants to travel back older period of Bagan, you may also visit to Nathlaung Kyaung (means a building to confine Nat Spirits).

bagan05The premises was said to be built in 9AD confronting another suggestion of building in early 11th century. Histroic records suggests that the building was used by some Indian workers brought from India during Bagan's golden era. But, later, owing to King's Anawrahtta's endeavour on expelling all other religion belief than Theravada Buddhism, and most of the original figures of Nat Sprirts has been kept there. During touring around the temples, you may want to explore an alternative experice and travel 48 kilometers southeast of Bagan heading for Mt Popa, an extinct vocalno.It is estimated that the vacalno was belched over three hundred and twenty thousands years ago.

From the root of the mountain, you may enjoy a trekking trip climbing 7777-steps while learning the lifestyle of monkeys resided aside of the lane or studying the legends of different Nats who domiciled in various parts of the mountain.

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