Temples of Bagan - First Day
Your guided exploration of the marvellous temples of Bagan begins with the Shwezigone Pagoda, built in the 12th century and the prototype of many early stupas. Its distinctive gilded zedi dominates the small town of Nyaung-U (where the airport for Bagan is situated). This impressive pagoda contains 4 shrines at the cardinal points, each housing a 13ft high bronze standing Buddha, the largest surviving examples in Bagan. Continue to the cave-temple of Kyansittha Umin, built into a cliff face close to the Shwezigon; its long, dimly lit corridors feature some fine frescoes. Next you will visit the 13th century Wetkyi-In-Gubyaukgyi, a temple with fine mural paintings from the Jataka*, and the Htilominlo Temple noted for its pilaster carvings. Perhaps the highlight of today is the monumental Ananda Temple (pictured below, left), an architectural masterpiece of resembling a Greek Cross, with four huge standing Buddha images. Other temples visited today are Dhamayangyi, a massive temple with the finest brickwork, and Manuha Temple with gigantic Buddha images. End the day with a sunset view of Bagan from Shwesandaw Temple.
* 'Jataka' - Stories of the Buddha's past lives, a common theme for temple paintings and reliefs.