Bagan, Capital of the first Myanmar Empire, is one of the main tourist destination in Myanmar and one of the riches archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river. The Magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for nearly 1000 years.
Highlights of Bagan
Ananda is situated to the south-east of Tharaba gate of the city wall, one of the finest and most venerated temples in Bagan, built by Kind Kyansitthat in 1091 A.D. There are four huge Buddha images in the standing position, 10 meter high inside of the temple and eighty reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha from his birth to his Enlightenment.
The Shwezigon Pagoda – for its sacredness, is a solid, cylindrical structure resting on three squares terraces, a prototype of Myanmar’s style stupas. It was built by King Anawrahta and completed by King Kyansitha in 1087 A.D. It was believed that the pagoda enshrines the frontal bone and a tooth of the Buddha and is thus held in great veneration by the Buddhists in Myanmar.
Bagan’s most massive temple, Dhamayangyi Temple, was built by King Narathu in 1170 A.D. Although the temple construction has not been completed, it displayed the fines brick-work.
It is situated about one mile of the southeast of Bagan, beyond the Dhamayangyi temple. One inscribed stone was erected in the north porch mentioning that King Narapatisithu built it in 1183 A.D.
It is situated in the southeast corner of the city wall. This great temple was built in 1144 A.D by King Alaung Sithu, the grandson of King Kyansittha. This is the highest temple of all monuments of Bagan and rises to a height of 61m above the ground level.
There are another famous temple such as Lawkananda Pagoda, Htilominlo Pagoda and Myinkaba Gubyauk-Gyi Temple.
Bagan Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum was inaugurated in 1904 near Gawdawpalin Temple in Old Bagan. It was reconstructed in 1995 and reopened in 1997.
On the Museum ground floor, you can see the display room for objects of visual arts of the Bagan period such as terracotta, stucco works, wood cravings, stone sculptures, metal works and lacquer works.
On the second floor, we find the exhibition of Buddha statues and variety of images, postures and styles providing some knowledge of Buddhist iconography.
ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO SEE IN BAGAN
The cotton is mostly grown in central Myanmar. Among the villages in Bagan, Pwa Saw (east) and Minnanthu village are still making cotton thread and weaving. First, they make the cotton thread from raw cotton by using machine which is manipulated by hand and weave on the traditional wooden loom.
Bagan lacquer ware is an ancient craft. The process involves coating, drying and numerous re coating of a frame work of woven bamboo over a period of months, climaxing with the amazing delicate task of etching designs by hand and then dyeing of colors onto the lacquered article.
A mural is a painting on a wall, ceiling, or other large permanent surface. Murals of sorts date to prehistoric times such as the paintings inside the caves, temples and pagodas.
A lot of peanuts and sesame seeds plants are grown in central Myanmar. First they fill the peanuts or sesame seeds in the wooden motor in which is a paddle that is turned around by an ox. Then the oil comes out from the small hole at the bottom of the wooden motor.
Balloons over Bagan
Balloons over Bagan is an opportunity to see this ancient Kingdom. The balloon is guided by gentle winds not exceeding 15 mph average. Flights take between 45 minutes to one hour. Learn more about Balloons Over Bagan .
Palm Sugar (Jaggery Production)
A lot of toddy palm trees are grown in central Myanmar. From the toddy palm trees, we get the sweet sap by climbing the palm tree by using very long ladder and collect the sap. Then, we cook the sap for about 3 hours until the sap settle down and becomes paste. Before the paste cool down, we make them into small balls or square shape and dry in the open-air. And then we get the palm sugar.
Nan Myint Viewing Tower
The ideal on shop viewpoint ( 60m high comprising 13 levels ) for visitors to see the panoramic view of Bagan.
TREKKING & HIKING
Trekking tour can be available to Mt. Victoria from Kampetlet which is located in the southern Chin state and about 4 hour drive from Bagan. There you can hike on Nat Ma Taung (Mt. Victoria), height of 10,200 feet, also you can visit to the Chin typical villages and see the Chin women with the tattoo on the face and traditional costumes.
ENVIRONS OF BAGAN
Mt. Popa is about 59km to the southeast of Bagan and driving hour is around one hour and twenty minutes. It is an extinct volcano, covers with a forest and it is like oasis of the dry zone. You can visit the Nats (spirits) shrine and observe the lovely panoramic view from the top of the rocky cliff (taungkalat). You can also make the trekking on Mt. Popa (Taungmagyi).
A small town, Sale is 55 miles far away from Bagan, Yoke Sone Monastery, built in late Kone Baung Dyansty, antique Buddha statue is made of wood, Man Paya, the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar and colonial buildings in Sale are the most attractive points for tourists.
Zee O Village
It is located in the south east of Bagan and driving hour is about 30 min. You can see the enormous thousand years aged tamarind tree, the place of remains of prehistorical blacksmith workshop sites, plenty and spreading of wood fossils. The local people believed that Zee O village area is protected by the guardian spirits (Nats) of the brother and sister. In the morning time, you can see the palm sugar production and the traditional way of cooking oil procession in the Zee O Village.