Bagan BurmaBurma Bagan
Visiting the temples in Bagan, Burma (Advice & Tips)
Nearly four years ago, when I was travelling, I wasn't sure which parts of the journey I would be most interested in.... would it be the diverse scenery, the new food and tastes or perhaps new mates? Meanwhile, I have learnt that I am most concerned with my travelling experiences when I am looking for tales of kind persons who are willing to eat together.
Much of the heritage of Bagan, Burma (Myanmar) was evident when I walked into the archaeological zone of Bagan, a part of the land with more than 2,200 remnant shrines and stupa, the oldest of which date back to the beginning of the eleventh world war. When Ana and I travelled through Burma, we were fortunate that our trip coincided with the trips of the GotPassport families in Burma.
Our mum, A, is Burmese-American and has a rural community; when our visit came together, they gave us the opportunity to go on pilgrimages with them to the sacred sanctuaries of Bagan. From about 1044, Bagan's rich emperors spend 250 years to build this old town. On the climax of Bagan's place in the story as the headquarters of Southeast Asia, the town had more than 10,000 shrines and 1,000 stupa.
Temple construction is a way for affluent individuals to make merits, and for this purpose both large and small churches were constructed and given in the past centuries. From sunrise to sunset, we spend two nights to visit the most sacred monasteries and learn why they are still used in contemporary adoration today.
Although bike hire is the most common way for visitors to see the powdery streets and temple acres, we all rode around in the padded beds of a lorry so that we could see many of the churches that were scattered over the 40 square kilometers of countryside within the old town.
What fascinated me about the Buddhist shrines in Bagan in comparison to other shrines in Southeast Asia (namely Angkor Wat, to which I took Ana two month to Bagan), is the fact that many of the shrines were rebuilt for contemporary use. Many crumbled pumpkin-colored Stupas contrasted dry-burned squares with blunt gras, but many of the most sacred shrines were contemporary cult sites with newly gold-plated outsides, Buddha sculptures and Nats.
In the following I would like to tell you a photographic tour and the tale of our day, in which we visit the convents and stupa of old Bagan, which shape the lively past of the state. It is unbelievable photoogenic, so I've divided the higlights (21 pictures and short stories!) from two full day down (sunrise to sunset), but there are even more Bagan trip pictures if you feel like it.
At the Shwezigon Pagoda, the lovely, gold-plated palace and stupa in the Shwezigon Pagoda drew a fistful of people. We were captured by the silent power buzzing through the sanctuary. There is no question that the first few moments of ascent over the 40 leagues of the sanctuaries, Stupa and convents in the Bagan plain would have been a magic opportunity for you. But we decided to keep to the bottom this year.
Over the years I have seen the Buddha represented in hundred of different poses and face phrases, but those blessed smile in the Dhammayangyi Pahto shrine glow with serenity. Breathtaking cave-like passages of Dhammayangyi Pahto Theatre. It is a landmark and a wonderful place. In many cases they could have paid for drinking but instead the busy churches and convents provided jars, jerry cans and jars so that no one should be thursty on their pilgrimages - some of the churches had very sharp walks!
I and Ana pose for a photo together with the fotogenic Thatbyinnyu sanctuary in the foreground. There are two entrances from two lovely churches. Your lefthand looks at the Thatbyinnyu-tempple. Second is the artistic entry to Hgnet Pyit Taungtempple. Your weekday of your childbirth determines which ward and which animals you should see in the wards.
It is the Monday morning and it is rewarding to explore the date of childbirth before traveling through Burma to show your pet your appreciation through its culturality. They must be barefoot when you enter a buddhistic shrine. They harass the monks who go up the 777 stairs that are cut into the side of Mount Popa and all lead to the Taungkalat cloister.
The complicated pictures inside the temple of Htilominlo have endured for ages. Some of the most filigree and complicated pictures in some of the other monasteries are illuminated only with torches and forbid photographing to make sure that coming generation can see the work. You polish the threaka on the rock, adding fresh cream (or other cream in contemporary cases) and then applying it to your body to preserve your look, traditions and protective properties.
That young and zealous youngster was our spontaneous travel companion through one of the temples. The Buddha on the leftside is from the Manuhatempple, and the right one is inimitable. As Ana and I learnt a great deal about the impact of the great flows on commerce and developments in the Southeast Asian lands before we went to Burma, it was interesting for us to observe the gradual rate of living on this section of the flow.
Although the tourist population in Bagan is widespread, kindness is an integral part of Burma's civilization and we got a smile and a wave from every lorry that passed by. On our second outing in Bagan we chose a sundown where only a few visitors were on the rock. Horsecarts give a small insight into the greatness of these churches.
Although some of the remains are small stupa, others are huge monasteries dating back to the monarchs and sovereigns of the tenth and eleventh century. Scattered in the dusk, each evening the hundred shrines allow for a different and wonderful sundown. Sitting on the cornice of the shrine, we observed the sundown.
Last shards of sunlight emerged from the heavens and outlined the icons of the temple. And Bagan was such a stop on our journey. They were unbelievable and although they are not yet listed as UNESCO world culture sites (politics), this is considered a one-of-a-kind place in our heritages.