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BAGAN, THE GLORY OF MYANMAR

 


The Bagan, capital of the first Myanmar Empire, is one of the main tourist destinations in Myanmar and one of the richest archaeological sites in South-East Asia, is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyawady River. The Magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for nearly 1000 years.

HOW TO GET THERE

Nyaung Oo Airport in Bagan is accessible daily regular domestic flights from Yangon, Mandalay, Heho (Inle lake). During peak season there are flights between Yangon and Bagan that operate twice a day take roughly one hour and ten minutes. Express trains from Yangon are also accessible to Bagan and take 12 hours. There are regular express coach services to Bagan from Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Inle Lake.

Transportation In Bagan

The motor vehicles of the licensed tourist transport services are able to take for travelling and sightseeing. The taxis with the red number plate are also available on the way to the tourist sites. Licensed hotels can arrange for car rental service. Tourists enjoy travelling in the horse and bullock carts around Bagan. Hiring electric bike, can hire easily at your hotel or guest house and exploring your own will definitely give you good experience of Bagan.

River Cruises

One of the best way to see Myanmar is by gliding down its legendary river, the Ayeyarwady. The Ayeyarwady, with a length of 2170 km, is the longest and the most important river in Myanmar. Cruising on the Ayeyarwady river is a popular experience among international visitors, as its offers a relaxing, cool and comfortable ride. Traditional River Boats and Luxury River Cruises operate along the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers.

Between Mandalay and Bagan (vice-versa), visitors can take in the natural beauty of the Ayeyarwady and explore the fascinating view of Mt.Sagaing, Pokokku, Myingyan and other well-known cities by cruising. Day trips are available by express boats: Malikha Express, RV ShweKeinnery and RV Panorama. Cruise boutique hotel and luxury cruise liners such as RV Paukkan, RV Pandaw, RV Randabo and Road to Mandalay operate 2, 3 and 4 night trips.

HIGHLIGHTS OF BAGAN

The ancient monuments of different periods cover Bagan, the most important historical site in Myanmar. Bagan is situated in the Ayeyarwady River bend. The monuments stand on the land stretching from the river bank to the Turingtaung range.

A panoramic view of Bagan can be seen from the top terrace of the Bagan viewing tower. A finger pointed in any direction will not miss a monument. At present, there are over two thousand ancient monuments in the Bagan area, according to the list of the Archaeological Department. Although there are many monuments in Bagan, they are different in plan, elevation, decoration and architectural elements. Only three or four monuments are of the same type. Some are one-story buildings and other are three or four-story buildings.

Some have a bell-shaped section, or a sikhara section, on top. In those days Ancient Myanmar Races built their buildings according to their own ideas like the construction of houses nowadays. They designed their buildings to be as beautiful as possible and made them more elaborate to boast of their power and wealth.

Ananda Temple

Situated to the south-east of the Tharaba Gate in the city wall, is one of the finest and most venerated temples in Bagan. It was built by King Kyansittha in 1091 AD. There are four huge Buddha images in the standing position, 10 meter high inside the temple and eighty reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha from his birth to his enlightenment.

Shwezigon Pagoda

The sacred Shwezigon Pagoda is a solid, cylindrical structure resting on three square terraces, a prototype of Myanmar-style stupa. It was built by King Anawrahta and completed by King Kyansittha in 1087 AD. 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 Buddhist in Myanmar.

Dhamayangyi Temple

Bagan’s most massive temple, Dhamayangyi Temple, was built by King Narathu in 1170 AD. Although the temple construction was not completed, it displays the finest brickwork.

Sulamani Temple

It is situated about one mile to the south-east of Bagan, beyond the Dhamayangyi temple. One inscribed stone was erected in the north porch mentioning that King Narapatisithu built it in 1183 AD.


Thatbyinnyu Temple

It is situated in the south-east corner of the city wall. This great temple was built in 1144 AD by King Alaung Sithu, the grandson of King Kyansittha. Thus is the highest temple of all monuments of Bagan and rises to a height of 61meter above the ground level.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum was inaugurated in 1904 near Gawdawpalin Temple in Old Bagan. It was reconstructed in 1995 and reopened in 1997. The Museum is a two-storey building and on the ground floor, you can see the display room for objects of visual arts of the Bagan Period such as terra cotta, stucco works, wood carving, stone sculptures, metal works and lacquer works. We find the second floor exhibits Buddha statues and images of various makes, postures, and styles, providing us some knowledge of Buddhist iconography.

Lawkananda Pagoda & Sunset Pagoda

This pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1059 AD. The riverside sunset view from the Pagoda is one of the tourist attractions in Bagan. Other attractions for sunset in Bagan are Mingalazedi Pagoda, Shwe Sandaw Pagoda, Pyat That Kyi Temple, river bank Buu Paya.

Htilominlo Pagoda

It is situated in northeast of old Bagan, on Bagan – Nyaung Oo Road. It is one of the biggest and most beautiful temple in Bagan. Built by Nataung Mya king in the 13th century, the fine stuccowork can be observed on outside walls of the temple.

Myinkaba Gubyauk Gyi Temple

In 1113 AD, Prince Rajakumar, son of Kyansittha, built this temple situated in the east of Myinkaba village. Mixed with Indian style and Mon influence, it is famous for its beautiful mural paintings. You can admire the 550 jatakas and Goddhama Buddha’s daily life.

Manuha Temple

It is situated in Myinkaba village. It was built by Manuha, the captive Mon King in 1059 AD. The inscribed stone No.9 in Mandalay, says that King Manuha, who owned the 32 white elephants, built this temple with three giant 14 meter high seated Buddha images, and a recumbent 17.6 meter long Buddha image, which were completed in six months and six days.


ACTIVITIES IN BAGAN
Mural Painting

A mural is a painting on a wall, ceiling, or other large permanent surface. The paintings inside of the caves, temples and pagodas date back to prehistoric time. There are many techniques.

Floating Sunset on Ayeyarwaddy River

A riverine boat trip in the evening near the Ayeyarwady River Bank offers the panoramic view of Bagan, the local fishermen and a pleasant sunset.

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, on average, the flights take between 45 minutes to one hour.

Lacquerware

Bagan lacquerware is an ancient craft. The process involves coating, applying numerous coats to a wovem bamboo framework over a period of months and end with the delicate task of etching designs by hand and adding colored dye onto the lacquered article.

Oil Production

A lot of peanut and sesame seed plants are grown in central Myanmar. First they pour the peanuts and sesame seeds into the wooden motor which is a paddle turned around by an ox. Then, the oil comes out from the small hole at the bottom of the wooden motor.

Palm Sugar (Jaggery) Production

A lot of toddy palm trees are grown in central Myanmar. We get the sweet sap from the toddy palm tree by climbing the palm tree very long ladder and collect the sap. Then, we cook the sap for about 2 hours until the sap settles down and becomes a paste. Before the paste cools down, we make it into small balls or square shapes and dry it in the open air. Finally we get the palm sugar.


Cotton Weaving

The cotton is mostly grown in central Myanmar. Among the villages in Bagan, Pwa Saw (East) and Min Nan Thu Villages are still making cotton thread and weaving. First, they make the cotton thread from raw cotton by using a machine which is manipulated by hand, and then they weave on the traditional wooden loom.

Nan Myint Viewing Tower

The ideal viewpoint (60 meter high comprised of 13 levels) for visitors to see the panoramic view of Bagan.

ENVIRONS OF BAGAN
Mt. Popa

Mt. Popa is about 50km to the southeast of Bagan and takes about one hour and twenty minutes to drive. It is an extinct volcano covered with a forest and is like an oasis in the dry zone. You can visit the Nats (sprits) shrine and observe the lovely panoramic view from the top of the rocky cliff (taungkalat). You can also hike to Mt.Popa (Taungmagyi – Main Mountain)

Sale Town

A small town, Sale is 55 miles away from Bagan. The colonial building in Sale, the Yoke Sone monastery built in late Kone Baung Dynasty and Man Paya, antique Buddha statue made of bamboo, are the most attractive tourist points.

Zee O Village

It is a 30 minutes drive to the Southeast of Bagan. You can see the enormous thousand years old Tamarind tree, the remains of prehistoric black-smith workshop sites and plenty 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.

Nga Tha York Village

It is about 16 miles away from Bagan, but it is a 2 hours drive because of the many sandy streams along the way. You can see the earthen potteries making different kinds of earthen-ware, you can also see the soya bean paste production which is the famous souvenir food of Bagan for local people.

Set Set Yo Village

Set Set Yo village which is famous for children’ unique hair style that is the same like centuries ago, walk through the village and visit to school and monastery. Then, continue to famous temple “Kyauk Gu U Min” which is situated on the Ayeyarwady River bank.

Trekking to Mt. Victoria

Trekking is available to Mt. Victoria from Kanpetlet, which is located in the southern Chin State about 6 hours drive from Bagan. There you can hike Nat Ma Taung (Mt. Victoria) with a height of 10,200 feet. You can also visit the typical Chin women with face tattoos and traditional costumes.

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