When in Myanmar: Bagan 'Temple Run' Guide

With over 2000 pagodas and temples scattered all over Bagan, it's somehow a matter of choosing which ones are notable to make the best out of your 'temple run.' And besides, as you go on, you'll soon realize that they are slowly looking exactly the same. Here are some distinct ones that may be worth your time seeing them up close.

Ananda Temple

For me, this is the most beautiful pagoda I have ever seen, not only in Myanmar but also in other Buddhist countries I have visited by far. The architecture is Mon and North Indian inspired.


If you are an architecture-freak like me, observe two things: first, check out the detailed carvings on the walls outside. Marvel at how detailed they are. Second, look up and see the pointed tower that looks like a spire.
It’s located in Old Bagan and it's near the eastern Tharabar Gate.

Shwezigon Pagoda

This pagoda is somehow similar to most of the pagodas in Yangon—it's color gold. Aside from having thishuge structure as the highlight, it's also surrounded by small temples and shrines that you may find interesting. It houses stone pillars with Mon language inscriptions.

It's said that Shwezigon Pagoda enshrines a bone and tooth of Buddha Gautama. 
It’s located in Nyaung U. It's near the Ayeyarwaddy River.

Htilominlo Pagoda

Right at first sight, it looked like a Mediterranean castle to me. It's obviously tall, standing 46 meters with three stories. I find Htilominlo Pagoda unique, props to its detailed wall carvings and its reddish color that is so picturesque especially during sunset.   
This pagoda is in Old Bagan along Bagan-Nyaung U Road.

Thatbyinnyu Temple

When you see Htilominlo Pagoda and find it tall, wait until you see Thatbyinnyu Temple. It stands 61 meters that oversees the rest being one of the tallest structures in Bagan.
Unlike most of the pagodas around that are reddish in color, Thatbyinnyu Temple is grey and white. This temple tend to be crowded though especially by locals who flock at praying time. Nevertheless it's worth paying a personal visit instead of just seeing it from afar.


It located in Nyaung U. It's in the east of Gadawtpalin Temple.  


Dhammayan Gyi Temple

This structure reminded me of either the Teotihuacan pyramids of Mexico or the pyramids of Egypt. The shape is bit similar to them but reddish in color. Dhammayangyi Temple's roof is not pointed, making it different from others. It's one of the widest temples in Bagan.
It located in Old Bagan. It's in the east of Shwesandaw Pagoda and near Sulamani Temple.



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