Bagan, the main tourist destination in Myanmar, is the ancient capital of the first Myanmar Empire founded by King Anawrahta. It is one of the richest archaeological sites in South-east Asia. Among Bagan’s more than 13,000 temples were destroyed by invaders, other by earthquake and decay. Today, remains over 2000 pagodas and temples which are representing the diversity of ancient Myanmar architectural styles in the 11th to 13th century. Bagan is the cradle of Myanmar culture. Intricate frescos or mural paintings in the pagodas, depending the life of Buddha, are worth viewing.
Bagan is a highlight of any trip to Myanmar and minimum stay of at least one or two night is essential in any itinerary is strong recommended. Sunset in Bagan is a most captivating scene and treasured memory to take home. Bagan lacquerware is the best in the world.
Shwezigon Pagoda is one of the fifty five encased pagodas in Bagan. The inner one was built by the father King Anawrahta and covered with the sandstones by the son King Kyanzitthar. It is believed to contain the frontal bone and a tooth of the Buddha and is thus held in great veneration by the Buddhists of the whole of Myanmar.
It is one of the finest and most venerated temples at Bagan. It’s in plan a square of nearly 200 ft. to the side and broken on each side by the projection of large gabled vestibules, which convert the plan into a perfect Greek cross. The gilded Htee (Umbrella) caps the whole at a height of 168 ft. above the ground.
The temple was built about the middle of the 12th century A.D. by King Alaungsithu and its rises to a height of 201 ft. above the ground and overtops all the other monuments. The high cucibles, the corner stupas on the terraces, the flamboyant arch-pediments and the plain pilasters combine to give a soaring effect to the monument.
Kubyauk-gyi Temple (Wetkyi-In)
Kubyauk-gyi Temple, the interest attaching to this temple lies in the fine mural paintings depicting scenes from Jatakas painted on the interior walls. The complete series was painted half on the northern wall and half on the southern wall of Kubyauk-gyi Temple, the vestibule.
The temple consists of two storeys, being set back one behind the other, and each is crowned by terraces ornamented with battlemented parapets and small stupas at each corner surmounted a deeply moulded cornice set with glazed plaques of different sizes and patterns.
The last remain of original twelve gates, of some were disappeared during the war with Mongolians and some washed away by mighty Ayerwaddy river, is dated back to 849AD. There are also two most powerful and respected figures of Myanmar Nat pantheon inside the niches of the gateway namely Mr. Handsome and Sister Golden Face.
One of sixteen pentagonal-shaped monuments from Bagan period, where scholars suggest these are the earliest surviving five-sided buildings of the world. There are five small temples to house the images of four last Buddhas and the future Buddha, a clear concept of Mahayana Buddhism. This stupa was built around 1197 by King Narapatisithu, a period when the belief of Mahayana Buddhism should be terminated with the continuous efforts of kings of Bagan dynasty.
Lacquerware are objects decoratively covered with lacquer. Lacquerware includes small or large containers, tableware, a variety of small objects carried by people, and larger objects such as furniture and even coffins painted with lacquer.
The rattan bark – or skin – is removed by a machine and the pole sanded to produce a smooth surface. The wood is a pale sand color. Wood dyes and finishes are easily applied. Skinless rattan is most often used for wicker furniture, curtain rods and even picture frames.
Jaggery is made of the products of sugarcane and the date palm tree. The sugar made from the sap of the date palm is more prized and less commonly available outside of the regions where it is made.
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