Opting for the best temples in Bagan to see ensures you to feel the magnificence of this admirable wonderland. Dwelled on the east bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, Bagan Myanmar is home to more than 2.000 revered wonders of temples, so it’s important to sort out those of the most famous sites.
#1: Know the Main Temples in Bagan – Knowledge before You Go
Following are 5 temples out of the thousands.
Ananda – The Most Popular Temple in Bagan
In the list of the most famous temples in Bagan, Ananda is most visited by the locals and overseas pilgrims. Erected in 1090 under the reign of King Kyanzittha, this religious site today is the best-preserved Buddhist monument in Bagan. Its highlights include the cruciform, 554 glazed tiles which tell Buddha’s life, four standing Buddha statues, and gold-plated spires (created to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the temple). People consider Ananda Temple to be perfect with the great grandeur and spiritual prestige. In any Bagan’s collection of top temples, Ananda always has a place.
Shwezigon Paya – One of the Most Important Temples in Bagan
Holding the indispensable importance in the locals’ spiritual life, Shwezigon Paya lets the visitors marvel at its similarity to the celebrated Shwedagon (in Yangon) as well as the interesting stories about its construction, in the time of King Kyanzittha (1084 – 1113). It’s said that this Paya enshrines the Buddha’s tooth relic. Some other characteristics include the 4m-high bronze standing Buddha statue, the gorgeous and elaborate wood carvings, and the gigantic lion statue at the entrance gate. People believe in the intangible power of this Paya, which brings luck and health to the visitors.
Dhammayangyi Temple – Among the Must-visit Temples in Bagan
List of the major temples in Bagan cannot lack Dhammayangyi which is famed for the unique pyramidal shape and the historical brick rubbles. The construction of this site was linked to the harsh past of King Narathu (1167-1170) who put the high and strict demand on its completion. The antique appearance of Dhammayangyi delivers the enjoyable back-in-time episodes so that you will never forget the time in Bagan.
Shwe Sandaw Pagoda – The Best Temple in Bagan for Sunrise
Believe it, Shwe Sandaw Pagoda is the best temple in Bagan for sunrise which calls you to get there in the early morning to catch the majestic moments at dawn. Being graceful in the circular shape, this pagoda has the stairway for you to reach the ideal spot to view the fabulous sunrise as well as the sunset. Also, this place is said to enshrine the Buddha’s hair relic. Either for worshipping or sightseeing the dawn beauty, Shwe Sandaw Pagoda is a must to discover.
Thatbyinyu Temple – The Tallest Site in Bagan
With the height of 66 meters, Thatbyinyu is the tallest temple in the area, made in the 12th century. Its notable features include the historical walls, the mythical tales, and the exceptional ruins. Simple sightseeing this religious spot gives you the feel for the authentic Burmese temples.
#2: How to Visit the Temples – Top Bagan Travel Tips to Know
First, buy the Bagan Archaeological Zone Pass (the entrance pass) and carry it with you all times. The Pass needs to be paid in advance (about USD$18), and it is non-refundable.
Next, get a handy paper map of the destination to use whenever needed. Because there are no fixed trails, you need the local map to figure out the locations of the preferred tourist areas. Also, the map helps you visit the main places of interest due to its proximity.
When you are in any of the main temples in Bagan, remember to visit the attraction on barefoot. It is a rule to take off the shoes and socks and place them outside of the sacred sites. Note that the floors are mostly built from the burnt bricks, which are quite hot in the afternoon; this makes the trip unforgettable.
#3: What to Wear – The Significant Bagan Travel Guide You Should Read
Remember that you are in Bagan – the admirable land with thousands of the wonderful temples that the whole world cherish. No matter how crumbling the ruins are, they are the religious landmarks which demand the sense of respect. Therefore, all women need to get their shoulders and knees covered while all men should be in the polite attires. Please say NO to the shorts, crop-tops, sleeveless T-shirts, etc. Like almost every place in Southeast Asia, Myanmar advises and requires the international guests to value their religious site; and note that this sense of respect is highly imposed on Bagan. For instance, if you intentionally enter the temples while wearing the shoes, you will be fined.
#4: Travel to Bagan All Seasons – It’s Good to Know
Bagan remains as antique, holy, and glamorous as it is, regardless of the time test. Hence, know that the travel to Bagan is ideal throughout the year. Located in the middle of the “dry zone,” this area doesn’t have the rainy season which promises you to have the comfortable temple visit. Read also tips to visit temples in Bagan Myanmar here!
#5: Know the Best Time for Balloon Ride over Bagan – Comprehensive Bagan Travel Guide
The best time to try out the balloon ride over Bagan is from December to February. Especially in December, the hot-air balloon tickets are often sold out, which means people have to book it even two months in advance. There is even the annual ballooning season in Bagan, from October 01st to April 15th. Normally, the hot-air balloon ride over Bagan starts quite early, at 6:00 AM, and last about 2 hours.
Catching the sunrise during the Bagan Balloon Flight is awesome; hence, most of the travelers feel happy to get up early to experience this great service. In the chilly morning, feast eyes with the gilded and revered monuments beneath your colorful balloons.
The collective guide of the top temples in Bagan, great tips on clothing, time to travel, the best time for the balloon ride, etc., aid you much in enjoying the Indochina travel to the perfection.
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